Skip to main content

Full text of "Notes on New Testament literature and ecclesiastical history .."

See other formats






BY / 




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in tlie year 1860, 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for tho 

Southern District of New York. 



43 & 50 Grceno Street. 


The two fragments presented in this volume, 
include all that Dr. Alexander left in a condition 
fit for the press, of his remarkable Biblical and 
Historical Lectures. It had long been his purpose 
to write out these Lectures on Old and Kew Testa- 
ment History and Literature, but two causes ope- 
rated to prevent this : First, the pressure of his 
professional labours. Including the preparation of 
his Commentaries ; and secondly, the rapid strides 
he was constantly making in the knowledge of his 
subjects, never brought him to the point when he 
could satisfy his own mind that he was ready 
to print. It was this fact that gave such vivacity 
and originality to his instructions, his lectures to 
each succeeding class being the outpouring of his 


own acquisitions. These fragments alone remain 

to us. The brief skeletons of his biblical research, 

although covering hundreds of pages, could hardly 

be arranged, and never filled out, by any living 


I have felt some hesitation in printing beyond 

§ 401, on account of its unfinished condition, but 

hoping that even these notes may be suggestive to 

the student of Ecclesiastical History, I concluded to 

insert them. 

S. D. A. 

New York, Nov. 



Statement of subject, 
Definitions, Etymologies, 
Literature in general, 
Specific applications. 
Sacred Literature, . 
The name Bible, 

Biblical and Scriptural, 
Biblical Literature, . 
Its wider application, 
Interpretation to be exclud 

Narrow application, 
History of the science, 
Uses of the study, . 
Isagogical theory and meth 

Home's scheme. 
Usual division. 
Historical method, . 
The two compared, . 
Division of the whole sub 

Old and New Testament, 
Grounds for the distinction 
Objection answered, 
Order to be observed, 
New Testament Literature, 
Twofold method, 
German Introductions, 
Guericke and Reuss, 
Historical arrangement, 





19, 20 

31, 32 
. 33 


Isagogical arrangement, . 34 
Topics of General Introduc- 
tion, . . .35 
Seven preliminary ques- 
tions, . . 36-39 
Objection answered, . 40 
Proposed arrangement, 41, 42 
Proposed reduction by elimi- 
nation, . . .43 
Remaining topics, . . 44 
Intermediate topic, . . 45 
New Testament Canon, . 46 
Definitions and Etymologies, 47 
Question stated — Twofold 

method, . . .48 

First fact, . . .49 

Second fact, . . 50 

Authority ascribed to Fa- 
thers and Councils, . 51 
This testimony confirmed, . 52 
Testimony of Athanasius, . 53 
Gregory of Nazianzen — Cyril 
of Jerusalem — Council of 
Laodicea, . . .54 
Canon of Eusebius, . . 55 
" Origen, . . 56 
*' Cyprian — Clemens 
Alexandrinus — Irenaeus, . 51 
Muratori Canon — Peshito, . 58 
Testimony beyond this point, 59 
No secondary Canon, . 60 
Doubtful Books, . .61 




Uniformity of Explanation 

necessary, . . G2 

Doubts respecting Epistle to 

the Hebrews, . . G3 

Doubts respecting Epistle of 

James, . . . 6-1 

The four smaller Catholic 

Epistles, . . .05 

The Apocalypse, . . 66 

General result of this exami- 
nation, . . .07 
Books excluded by settle- 
ment of the Canon, , 08 
The second topic of General 

Introduction, . . 69 

Four leading questions, . 70 
First question, What is the 
original Language of New 
Testament? . .71 

Second, Why was New Tes- 
tament written in differ- 
ent Language from Old 
Testament? . . 72 

Its most satisfactory solu- 
tion, . . .73 
Objection to this and its an- 
swer, . . .7-1 
Twofold answer to third 
question, why the Greek 
Language was selected, . 75 
Preparation of this Lan- 
guiige for Christian Reve- 
lation, . . .76 
Tl>o fourth question, . 77 
ComparaUve Philology, . 78 
Classification of Languages, 79 
Difference between these 

families of Languages, . 80 
The true relation between 

Greek and Latin, , .81 

Their origin still in doubt, . 82 
Difference of the Greek and 

Roman greatness, . 83 

Greek Dialects, . . 84 

How they differ, . . 85 

Macedonian Ascendancy, . 86 
A!ex:nidria, . . .87 


The Jews brought in contact 

with the Greeks, . 
Ilellen — Hellas, 

Hellenist applied to the Jews 

Hellenistic Dialect, . 

Hellenistic Literature, 

The depositories of Hellenis- 
tic Literature, 

The Septuagint, 

Josephus's origin of Septua- 

Discrepancies in this ac- 

The oldest undisputed testi- 

Question as to the extent of 
the Ti^mslation, . 

The most valuable part of 
the Pentateuch, . 

How regarded by the Jews 
before the Advent, 

Other Greek versions, 

Extreme opinions — Grin- 
field's doctrine, . 

How supported, 

Answer to these arguments, 

The true mean between these 
extremes, . 

Twofold use of Septuagint — 
Old Testament use, 

Uses with respect to New 

Uses with respect to quota- 

Its philological relation to 
the New Testament, 

Its technical use. 

Best mode of studying the 

Best helps for such a study. 

Old Testament Apocrypha, 

Their uses, . 

Their division into classes. 

How defined — their admis- 
sion to the Septuagint, 

Tiioir differences. 




How to bo used by students 

of the New Testament, .118 
Writings of Philo and Jose- 

phus, . . . 119 

History of Philo, . .120 

The character of his learning, 121 
The value of his Avri tings, . 122 
History of Josephus — his 

first work, . .123 

His second great work, . 124 
A third work still extant, . 125 
His testimony in respect to 

Christ, . . .126 

The language in which he 

wrote, . . .127 

Apostohc Fathers, . .128 

Clement of Rome, . . 129 

Barnabas, Epistle of, . 130 

Hermas, . . .131 

Polycarp, . . .132 

Ignatius, . . .133 

Papias, . . .134 

Epistle to Diognetus, .135 

These works entitled to at- 
tention, . . .136 
New Testament Apocrypha, 137 
Gospels of the Hebrews, 

Egyptians, Peter, &c., . 138 
Gospel of Nicodemus — Acts 

of Pilate, . . .139 

Comparison with Old Testa- 
ment Apocrypha, . 140 
Their bearing on the ques- 
tion of the Canon, . 141 


Their philological use, . 142 

The Greek of the New Testa- 
ment, ■. . .143 
The Revival of Letters, . 144 
Was not a religious move- 
ment, . . .145 
The Biblical Humanists, . 146 
Erasmus, . . . 147 
Beza — Henry Stephens, . 148 
Opposition to their views, . 148 
A reaction, . . . 149 
Hebraists and Purists, . 150 
An incidental good from 

this controversy, . .151 

Ernesti— Winer, . 152, 153 
Difference between Idiom 

and Dialect, . .154 

New Theory developed by 

Thiersch, . . .155 

Contrasted with Winer's doc- 
trine, . . . 156 
Hellenistic inferior to Attic 

Dialect, . . . 1.57 

Conclusion of latest German 

Writers, . . .158 

The way of investigating 

the Dialect, . .159 

Lexicoais, &c., . . IGO 

Grammatik des Neutcsta- 
mentichen Sprachidioms 
of Winer,. . .101 

Green's treatise of New Tes- 
tament Grammar, . 162 



Important preliminaries to 

this study, . . 1 

Two preliminary questions, 2 
Etymology of terms the first 

thing, . . .3 

Etymology of EngUsh word 

History — its definition, 4 

One exception, . . 5 

Distinction between Objec- 
tive and Subjective His- 
tory, . . .6 
An example of this, . 7 
Subjective History — its defi- 
nition, . . .8 
Can never be exhausted, 9 
All History eclectic, . 10 
Elimination and division of 

History, . . .11 

What is meant by Elimina- 
tion, . . .12 
What is to be eliminated 

from History, . .13 

How elimination differs from 

division, . . .14 

Division either mechanical 

or rational, . .15 

Civil and Religious History, 10 
History of the Church, 17 

Definition of Church History, 18 
Etymology of the word 

Church, . . 19, 20 

The use of this ni-cclc v/ord 

in the Classics and the 
Bible, . . .21 

The widest application of 
the phrase "Church His- 
tory," . . .22 

The early existence of the 
Church, . . .23 

The promise of a Saviour 
(Gen. 3, 15), . . 24 

How this promise gives com- 
plexion to Church His- 
tory, . . .25 

The extent of Church His- 
tory, . . .26 

Its division into Biblical and 
Ecclesiastical, . 27, 28 

The difference between them 
essential — one inspired, 
the other uninspired, 29 

Subdivision of Biblical His- 
tory into Old Testament 
and New Testament His- 
tory, . . .30 

The three divisions of Church 
History, Old Testament, 
New Testament, and Ec- 
clesiastical, unequal in 

, chronological dimensions, 31 

Ecclesiastical History, . 32 

Its relation to Biblical or 
Sacred History, . . 33 

The relation of Ecclesiastical 




History to other sciences 
or fields of knowledge, 34 

Its relation to Geography, 
Chronology, and Archieol- 
ogy, . . .35 

Historical Geography, . 30 

Chronology, . . 37 

Uses of Historical Chronol- 
ogy, . . .38, 39 



Cannot be separated from 
History, . . 41, 42 

Limitation of Archaeology, 43 

Auxiliary Studies — Statistics 
— Diplomatics, and Histor- 
ical Philosophy. . . 44 

Utility of History in general, 45 

Abuse of the Maxim, " His- 
tory is Philosophy teach- 
ing by Examples," . 46 

Benefits of Ecclesiastical His- 
tory, . . . 4*7, 48 

Salutary moral influences of 
the study of History, . 49 

The sources and materials 
of Ecclesiastical History, 50 

Uninspired, numerous, and 
diversified, . .51 

Have been divided into Mon- 
umental and Documen- 
tary, . . .52 

What the first class includes, 53 

The authorities of this class 
are originals, . .54 

The arch of Titus and an- 
cient Christian tombs ex- 
amples, . . .55 

Not as abundant as Docu- 
mentary, . . .56 

Division of Documentary 
History into Private or 
Personal, Public or Offi- 
cial, . . .61 

Definition of Public Docu- 
ments, . . .58 

Documents of the first au- 
thority, . . .59 


The extent of these mate- 
rials, . . .60 
An inferior class, . . 61 
Their extent, . . 62 
A third class, . . 63 
Symbolical Books, Creeds, 
Confessions, Catechisms, 
&c., . . .64 
Ancient Liturgies, . . 65 
Rules and Statutes of Reli- 
gious bodies, . . 66 
The Catalogue of materials 

not exhausted, . .6*7 

Definition of Private Docu- 
ments, . . .68 
The highest class of these, 69 
Another class, . . 70 
A residuary class, . . '71 
This class not to be under- 
rated, . . . 72 
Who have used these mate- 
rials, . . 73, 74, 75 
The first three centuries al- 
most a blank in works on 
Ecclesiastical History, . 76 
Works of Hegesippus, . 77 
Julius Africanus, . .78 
Not extant, . . .79 
Why Ecclesiastical History 
was neglected at this pe- 
riod, . . 80, 81, 82 
Eusebius and his writings, 83, 84 
Epiphanius — Philostorgius — 

Sidetes, . . .85 

Socrates — Sozomcn — Thco- 

doret, , . .86 

Theodorus — Evagrius, . 87 

Histories of the Latin Church 
mere translations — Sulpi- 
cius Severus — Orosius — 
Rufinus — Cassiodorus, . 88 
Byzantine Historians, . 89 

Effect of the subjugation of 
Western Roman Empire 
upon historical works, 90 

William of Tyre — Matthew 
Paris, . . .90 



■ . 91 

Gregory of Tours 

Church History debased by 

increase of superstition, 
The lowest ebb of historical 

knowledge in the age be 

foi'e the Reformation, 
Revival of Letters, . 
Relation of historical knowl 

edge to Reformation 
Polemical writings of the 

great reformers — in what 

sense historical, . 
The first complete Ecclesias- 
tical History — a product 

of Lutheran Reformation, 97 
Flacius, . . .98 

His scheme of associated 

labour, . . 99, 100 

The first appearance of the 

work, . . .101 

Its effect upon the age, 102, 103 
Its effect upon the Church 

of Rome, . 
His " Annals," 
Reprinted several times, 
These works the parents of a 

vast and varied Literature, 
FraPaoli, . 
Morinus — Petavius — Tilli- 

mont — R. Simon — Fleury 

— Natalis Alexander, 
Ilottingcr — Spanheim — the 

Bassnages — Daill6 — Blon- 

del — Salmasius, . 
Usher — Pearson — Bcveridgo 

—Burnet — Dodwell — Cave 

— Bull — Bingham, 
Scheme of Calixtus, 
Spener — Seckendorf — a new 

method of writing Church 

History, . 
Pushed to extreme by God- 
frey Arnold, 
The Historians of the latter 













half of eighteenth cen- 
tury more nioderate, . 117 
John Laurence Mosheim, . 118 
His works, . . .119 

Their character, . .120 

The influence of his writings 

upon his successors, . 121 

Rise of German Rationalism 

or Neology, . .122 

Its effects upon Church His- 
tory, . . .123 
Monographs, . .124 
Their value, . . 125 
Neander, . . .126 
His works — Gieseler, . 127 
Neander and Gieseler con- 
trasted, . . .128 
Their works contrasted, 129, 130 
Guericke, . . .131 
Jacob i, . . .132 
Schaff— Lunge, . .133 
Hase, . . .134 
Kurtz, . . .135 
Effect of modern German 
cliangcs upon Roman Ca- 
tholic Historians, . . 136 
Cr.ltivation of History iu 

England, . . .137 

Milner, . . .138 

Milman, . . . 139 

J. C. Robertson— J. J, Blunt, 140 
Charles Hardwick, . . 141 

" Ecclesiastical History " of 

Palmer, . . .142 

"Method," . . . 143 

What is meant by it, . 144 

It is essential, 145, 146, 147 

Anecdotic composition, . 148 
The chronological arrange- 
ment of events, . 149,150 
The topical arrangement of 

events, . . 151, 152 

The combination of these es- 
sential to the production 
of history, 163, 154, 155 

Ancient writers on Ecclesias- 
tical History seldom rise 




above Chronological Ar- 
rangement, . .156 

Magdeburg Centuriators, . 157 

Their Chronological Ar- 
rangement, . .158 

Topical arrangement, 159, 160 

Their immediate purpose was 
polemical, . .161 

This m.ethod constructed a 
priori, . . .162 

Intended for the early cen- 
turies, . . .163 

Not intended to be perpetual, 1 64 

It has given character to sub- 
sequent historiography, . 165 

The real merit of the plan 
of the Centuriators, . 166 

Cannot be read continuously, 167 

The Romanists adopt a sim- 
pler form, . .168 

A change in the mode of 
treating Ecclesiastical His- 
tory became necessary, . 169 

The cliangc was gradual — 
reaches its culmination in 
the Institutiones of Mo- 
sheira, . . 110, 171 

Mosheim's use of the Centu- 
rial Arrangement, . 172, 173 

Its disadvantages, . • . 174 

Methods of Ecclesiastical 
Historiography increase 
during the last half cen- 
tury, . . .175 

Germans retain the Biblical 
system and change the 
chronological arrange- 
ment of subjects, . 176 

The nature of this change, 177 

Their change in the topical 
arrangement, . .178 

Type of all thesjp modern 
methods, . . . 179 

Regarded by tiie Germans 
and their imitators as the 
ultimatum of improve- 
ment, . . .180 


Objections to it, . .181 

Objection of this school to 

the old arrangement, . 182 
The objection partially ad- 
mitted, but with two quali- 
fying circumstances, 183, 184 
A more specific charge 
against the centurial ar- 
rangement, . .185 
The answer, . . 186, 187 
A qualifying circumstance in 
favour of old arrange- 
ment, . . .188 
The modern German school 

not united on one scheme, 189 
DifScultics of the modern 

periodical arrangement, 190 
Partial changes in the topi- 
cal and rubrical arrange- 
ment, . . .191 
The essence of the rubrical 

arrangement, . .192 

Objections to this system, . 193 
The historical objection, 194, 195 
Objection drawn from anal- 
ogy, . . . 196 
Objection from practical ef- 
fects, . . . 197, 198 
An improvement of both 
chronological and topical 
arrangement proposed, . 199 
Change in the topical part, . 200 
Not new, . . . 201 
Change in chronological di- 
• vision, . ^ . .202 
How this is to be* accom- 

pHshed, . . 203, 204 

Its advantages, . . 205 

The difference betvv^een this 
method and the one it su- 
persedes, . . . 200 
This course of History di- 
vided into two unequal 
parts, . . .207 
The first division a general 

survey, . . • 208 

Confusion avoided l)y view- 




ing the pcriodologics suc- 
cessively and seriatim, 

Two conditions essential in 
this process, . .210, 

Begin with the simple and 
familiar, . 

Both of these conditions 
meet by dividing Church 
History into Ancient, Mid- 
dle, and Modern Ages, . 

The simplicity of this mode, . 214 

Analogies to prove its reality 
and usefulness, 

These divisions useful even 
though imaginary. 

The boundary between the 
Middle ages and Modern 
tolerably well defined, 

Between First and Middle 
not so well, 

A general knowledge of 
these divisions useful, . 219 

The eai'liest limits assigned 
to the ancient period — be- 
ginning of fourth century, 220 

The latest limits — close of 
seventh century, . 

Midway between these an- 
other — end of sixth cen- 
tury, . . 

One on either side of this 
mean — end of sixth cen- 
tury — close of eighth cen- 
tury, . . 223, 

Amidst varieties, the great 
boundaries still distinct, . 

These three periods distin- 
guished as periods of For- 
mation, Deformation, and 

More precisely the periods of 
Foundation and Division, 
Consolidation and Corrup- 
tion, Reformation and Di- 

Descriptions of these periods 
might be multiplied, . 228 















SchafP's description, . 229, 230 
He prognosticates a fourth 

age, . . .231 

The ethnological distinction 

of Kurtz, . . .232 

These views to be combined 
with what is already 
known, . . .233 

First great feature of the 

Ancient Period, . . 234 

A second feature, . . 235 

A third, . . .236 

A fourth, . . .237 

A last, . . .238 

The first great negative dis- 
tinction of the Middle 
Age, . . . 239 

The great schism, . . 240 

The theological or doctrinal 
distinction of the Middle 
Age, . . .241 

The worst peculiarity of this 

age, . . .242 

Its only redeeming feature, . 243 
The first great feature of the 

Modern Age, . . 244 

A second, . . . 245 

The Theology of this age, . 246 
The divisions introduced by 

Reformation, . . 247 

Growth of heresies in this 

age, . . .248 

An intermediate division, . 249 
The first six centuries — two 

periods, . . . 250 

The seventh and eighth cen- 
turies neutral ground, . 251 
Division of Middle Ages not 

so obvious, . . 252 

A proposed division, . 253 

Characteristic feature of 
each century to aid mem- 
ory, . . . 254, 255 
Characteristic of 1st centurv, 256 
" 2d " ". 257 
" " 3d " . 258 
" " 4th " . 259 




Characteristic of 5th century, 260 
" " 6th " . 261 

Close of doctrinal contro- 
versies and the series of 
ancient councils, . .262 

Rise and progress of Moham- 
medanism, . . 263 

Characteristic feature of 9th 
century, . . . 264 

Characteristic feature of 10th 
century, . . . 265 

Characteristic feature of 11th 
century, . . . 266 

Characteristic feature of 12th 
century, . . . 26*7 

Characteristic feature of 13th 
century, . : .268 

Characteristic feature of 14th 
century, . . . 269 

Characteristic feature of 15th 
century, . . . 2*70 

Characteristic feature of 16th 
century, . . . 2*71 

Characteristic feature of 1*7 th 
century, . . .272 

Characteristic feature of 18th 
century, . . .273 

Characteristic feature of 19th 
century, . . . 274 

Periodologies, . .275 

Great diversities of, . .276 

A joint use of these recom- 
mended, . . . 277 

The choice of periodologies 
how guided, . . 278 

Arranged for comparison, . 279 

Periodologies of Gieseler, Ne- 
ander, Guericke (Jacobi), 
Hase, Kurtz, and SchafiF, . 280 

Gieseler's entitled to prece- 
dence, . . .281 

How all periodologies are 
formed, . . .282 

Modern periodologies vary 
as to the terminus a quo 
of Ecclesiastical History, . 283 

Primary epochs of Gieseler, . 284 


Salient points and critical 

junctures of Gieseler, . 285 
What they are, . . 286 

The field divided and subdi- 
vided, making twelve pe- 
riods in all, . . 287 
Gieseler's first great period, . 288 
This divided into three, . 289 
His second great period, . 290 
Subdivided into three, . 290 
His third great period divid- 
ed into three, . . 291 
His fourth, . . . 292 
These subdivisions arranged 

in a continued series, . 293 
Has not met with currency 

among later writers, . 294 

Its specific faults, . . 295 

Neander's Periodology free 

from these faults, . 296 

His Periodology, . . 297 

Guericke's Periodology, 298, 299 
Jacobi's, . . ' . 300 

Periodology of Hase, . 301 

His divisions, . .302 

His subdivisions, . . 303 

Adopted by Kurtz with 

modification, . . 304 

The great Phases of Kurtz, . 305 
The first two Phases, . 306 

Subdivided into minor or in- 
termediate fines, . . 307 
Periodology of Schaff, . 308 
His divisions, . . 309 
His subdivision of ages into 
three periods — subdivision 
of first age, . .310 
Subdivision of the second, . 311 
" " " third, . 312 
These smaller periods ar- 
ranged in continuous series, 313 
Comparison of other period- 
ologies with this, . .314 
Epochs of Englehardt, . 315 
Periods of " . . 316 
Periodology of Thiele, . 317 
" Laniie, . 318 




. 319 
. 320 

His subdivision, 

Division of Nicdncr, 

Of Lindner with his subdivi 
sions, . 321, 322, 323, 

Pcriodology of Fricke, 

The division of Abzog, 

Periodology of Postel, 

Of recent EngUsh writers, 

Of Pdmer, . 

Of Milman, . 

His works, . 

His " Periods," 

The use of Epochs, 

Their value, 

Their application, 835, 
388, 339 

After the epochs another 
class may be placed, . 842 

A residuary class, . . 343 

A catalogue of Periodologies, 344 

Tlie best mode of using 

Another method, 

Specimen of the above 
method, . 

The great changes indicated 
by this method, . 

Different ways of construct- 
ing tables. 

Sources of materials. 

The topical survey of the 

Etymology of the word top- 
ical, . . . 352 

Apphcationof the word, 353, 354 

. 329 
. 330 
. 331 
. 332 
. 333 
. 334 
336, 337, 
340, 341 






^yhat is a topic, 
Its definition, . . 356, 
The definition completed, . 
The arrangement of topics 

Its advantages, 
Two methods of selecting 

and arranging topics. 
The Analytic and Synthetic 

methods, . 
The first the best for present 

purposes, . . 363 





The second for one who 
makes this a study of life, 364 

Another distinction, . 365 

Both views may be turned 
to good account, . 366, 

Ecclesiastical History — what 
it is, thus viewed, . 

No exclusive method practi- 
cable, . . 369, 

How Ecclesiastical History 
might be divided — objec- 
tion to it, . 

Same objection does not lie 
against other divisions, . 

The best method, 

The general arrangement 
must be chronological, 

In selecting topics, the best 
events to begin with. 

Such an event, the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, . 876, 

The proximate causes of it, . 

Flavins Josephus, the princi- 
pal authority, 

The providential instruments 
of it. 

Where the details of it may 
be found, . 

Its effect upon the Jews, 

Its political effect, . 

Effect upon their religion, 

Effect upon their persecu- 

Primary effect upon Chris- 
tian Church, 

Rise of Jewish Christian 

How distinguished from the 
body of Christians, 

Differences among them- 

Their view of the Lord, 

How they regarded Christ, , 

How they regarded Paul, . 

Sources of our information 
of them, . . .394 













. 389 






Two sects, . . . 895 

The Nazareans op Naza- 

rcnes, , . . 396 

The Ebionites, . 397, 398 

When they arose, . . 399 

First mention of their gospel 

by Fathers, . . 400 

Vriien the canon close?, . 401 
Objective close of canon, . 402 
Eusebian classification, . 403 
Donbts gradually clear up, . 404 
Not a mere passive acquies- 
cence, . . . 405 
Unauthorized attempts to 

Avrito the life of Christ, . 406 
Apocryphal literature, . 407 

All not heretical, . . 408 

Some claim places iu the 

canon, . , , 409 

Classification of Apocryphal 

gospels, . . ' .410 

Supplementary gospels, . 411 
Evangeliiim Nativitatis, , 412 
Gospel of Joachim and Anna, 41 3 
Of Joseph, the Carpenter, . 414 
Of Christ's Infancy, . . 415 

Supplementary accounts of 

his Passion, . . 416 

Acts of Pilate, . . 417 

Apocryphal Acts, . .418 

" Epistles, . 419 

" Apocalypses, . 420 

" Prophecies, . 421 

Heathen " . 422 

Disciphnary Pseudcpigrapha, 423 
Apostolical Constitutions, . 424 
Apostolical Canons, . 425 

History of Canon thus illus- 
trated, . . .420 
Apostolical Fathers, , 427 
Their Simplicity and Piety, 428 
Modern disposition to exag- 
gerate, . . . 429 
Surprising only to Papists 

and Rationalists, . . 430 

Providential inequality of 
Apostles and Fathers, . 431 


Apostles, . . 432 

School of Paul, . . 433 

" Barnabas, . 434 

" Hernias, . . 435 

" John and Ignatius, 436 

" Polycarp, . 437 

" Papias, . .438 

Anonymous School, . 439 

Early propagation of Gospel, 440 

Dearth of Information, . 441 

Where the Gospel spread, . 442 

Mode of Propagation, . 443 

Twofold conflict of Church 

in eighteenth century, . 444 
Heathenism, . . 445 

Twofold preparation for Gos- 
pel, . . . .446 
State of Heathenism at Ad- 
vent, . . .447 
Barbarous Religions, . 448 
Greek and Roman Heathen- 
ism, . . . 449 
Mania for new religions, . 450 
Relation of Philosophy to 

Mythology, . . 451 

School of Greek Philosophy, 452 
Heathen viewof Cln-istianity, 453 
Reform of Heathenism, . 454 
Apollonius of Tyana, . 455 

Revival of old mvsteries, . 456 
The Eclectic Philosophy, . 457 
Basis not Christian, . 458 

Its Founder, . . 459 

Universal among educated 
men at end of third cen- 
tury, . . .400 
Outline of till- ="^tom, . 461 
Effect of Chrl^iiui.ity, . 462 
Lucian, .. . . 463 
First formal attack on Chris- 
tianity, . . . 464 
Porphyry, . . . 465 
Ilierocles, . . . 466 
Best Christian waiters of the 

age called forth, . . 407 

Oldest apologists — not ex- 
tant, . . 468, 469 




Apologists still extant, 470-473 

General character of these 

Good end promoted by bad 


Primary source of, . 

First Martyr, 

First check to Jewish perse- 

Second source of persecu- 

Less tolerant to Judaism, . 

Popular prejudices against 
the Christians, 

How promoted, . 483, 

Guericke's classification of 

Persecution of first century, 486 

First real persecution, 487, 488 

New era in history of perse- 

Extent of persecution, 


Antoninus Pius, 

Marcus Aurelius, 

Persecutions general but not 
uniform, . 

Old tradition of Legio Ful- 

Persecuting laws unrepealed, 

Septimius Severus, . 












Persecution in Africa, . 498 

Caracalla, . . .499 

Syncetistic mania, . . 500 

Alexander Severus, . 501 

Maximin the Thracian, . 502 

Gordian, . . . 503 

Pauses between persecutions, 504 
Decian persecution, . 505 

Church weakened by repose, 506 

Death of Decius, 


Martyrs at Rome, 



Another interval, 

Diocletian, . 



Meeting of Emperors at Ni- 

comedia, . 
New edicts of persecution, . 
Change in government, 
Death-bed of Galerius, 
Ten Persecutions, . 
Their names. 
Severity of Persecutors and 

number of martyrs — a 

question, . 
Noble army of martyrs. 
Good effects of persecution. 
Positive bad effects, 






§ 1. From lino^ to daub or smear (supine, li- 
tum\ comes litera^ a mark, and more especially a 
significant mark — a character — a letter of the al- 
phabet. The plural illtercB) denotes — 1, the letters 
of the alphabet collectively — 2, then any combina- 
tion of them in a written composition — whether 
smaller (e. g. a letter, or epistle, made up of a few 
letters ; or, as we say, " a few lines "), or larger (as 
a book) — 3, then books in general, or in the aggre- 
gate — and then 4 (subjectively), the knowledge of 
books (" book-learning "), education — as in Cicero's 
phrases, '^ sine Uteris," " nescire literas," the French 
" belles-lettres," and the English " man of letters," 

§ 1. What is the ultimate root oi literature ? What is the pri- 
mary and secondary sense oiUtera? What are the idiomatic uses 
of the plural ? What traces of the same in French and English ? 


meaning much more than a man who " knows his 

§ 2. From litera itself comes the adjective lite- 
ratiis, in form a participle, but without a corre- 
sponding verb (as in English), meaning primarily 
lettered^ i. e. marked with letters, as a book is let- 
tered by the binder — but secondarily, acquainted 
with (possessed of) letters, (in the higher sense,) 
i, e. educated, learned. The j)lural of this Latin 
word {literati) is still used in English ; and although 
the old derivative (literate) is obsolete, except in 
certain technical or legal forms, its previous exist- 
ence is attested by its opj^osite, illiterate^ uneducat- 
ed, ignorant. 

§ 3. From liter atus (or from literm directly) 
comes the abstract term, literatura^ meaning, in 
the classics, first, alphabetic writing; then gram- 
mar, philology, the science of language ; and last- 
ly, learning, education, or the knowledge of books. 

As distinguished from science in modern par- 
lance, literature may be defined as the knowledge 
of books as books ; not merely their contents or 

§ 2. What is the primary and secondary sense of lltcrahis? 
What traces of this Avord in Enghsh usage ? 

§ 3. What is the classical usage of Uteratura ? What is litera- 
ture^ as distinguished from science? 


substance, but tlieir form, text, language, style, ori- 
gin, and all that constitutes tlieir [critical and lite- 
rary] history. 

§ 4. Tlie generic term, as tlms defined, admits 
of various specific applications to particular classes 
or kinds of books, wlietber differing in form of 
composition (as poetical and prose literature), or in 
date (as ancient and modern literature), or in lan- 
guage (as Greek and English literature), or in sub- 
ject (as medical and historical literature). In this 
sense every science (or branch of systematic knowl- 
edge) may be said to have its " literature ; " i. e., a 
collection of writings peculiar to itself. Thus the 
modern Germans use the term Litteratur to denote 
the bibliography of any given subject. 

§ 5. Among the many possible distinctions and 
divisions of this nature, one of the most familiar, 
and at the same time most connected with our 
present studies, is that of Sacred and Profane Liter- 

Profane^ according to its Latin etymology {pro 

§ 4. How may this generic term be made specific ? "What rela- 
tion has Hterature to the sciences \ How do the Germans use the 
term litteraticr ? 

§ 5. What is the correlative or opposite of Sacred Literature ? 
What is the derivation of Profane ? What is its positive meaning ? 
Wha;t is its negative meaning? How may they be exemplified? 
How is this to be defined? 


fano^ before the temple, outside of the consecrated 
precincts), is primarily negative and simply means 
not sacred^ though in both languages it soon ac- 
quired the positive and stronger sense of irreverent, 
impious, and even blasphemous. The difference of 
the primary and secondary meaning may be seen 
in the equally familiar combinations, " profane 
history " and " profane swearing." The primary 
or negative sense must be determined by that of 
the correlative expression, " sacred." 

§ 6. Sacred Literature may be taken either in a 
wider or more restricted apjDlication. In the for- 
mer, it denotes (objectively) the aggregate of books, 
or (subjectively) the knowledge of such books, on 
sacred subjects, and is then equivalent to Religious 
Literature. In the latter, it denotes the aggregate 
(or knowledge) of sacred writings^ i. e. inspired, 
and therefore of divine authority ; and is then 
equivalent to Billical Literature^ or the literature 
of the Bihle. 

% 7. This term {Bille) is immediately derived 

§ G. What is the twofold sense of Sacred Literature ? What is 
its wider application ? What is its narrower application ? 

§ 7. What is the derivation of Bible? What was the primary 
sense of ^i^\os ? What was its secondary sense ? How is pifiXiov 
used in the New Testament ? How is fii^\os there applied ? When 
was it first applied to the whole Word of God ? 


from the Latin and Greek plural {Bihlia)^ a dimin- /M^ 
ntive of ^l^Xo^; (sometimes written ySuySXo?), which 
originally means the pa2:)t/rus^\imt, the inner bark 
of which was used of old as a material for writing ' 
— hence our paper, thongh composed of an entirely 
different substance. A secondary use of both the 
English and the Greek word is to signify any piece 
of wi'iting (as a bill of divorcement, Matt. 19, 7 ; 
or a book), in which sense it is applied to the divi- 
sions of the Old Testament — the " book of Moses " 
(Mark 12, 26)— the " book of Psalms " (Lnke 20, 
42)— the " book of the Prophets " (Acts 7, 42)— but 
never to the whole of the Old Testament collec- 
tively. Its application to the entire Word of God, 
as the Book of Books, or Book Kar i^oxni^y appears 
to have been introduced by Chrysostom. 

§ 8. Another common name for the whole Word _ 

. . . (^ ' 

of God is Scrijyture, from scriptura, scriho, corre- ^C^Z^t^ 

spending to the Greek ypa<prj from 7pa<^a), meaning, 
originally, any writing whether great or small ; 
but applied emj^hatically sometimes to a single text 
or passage (as in Luke 4, 21) — sometimes to seve- 
ral in connection (as in Acts 1, 16) — sometimes to 

§ 8. What is the derivation of ScripUcre? How is ypacp-f) np- 
phcd in the New Testament ? How is the phiral {ypacpai and 
ypdiLuaTo) applied ? AVhat epithets are coupled with these plurals ? 
Where does th.e phrase "Sacred Scriptures" occur ? 


the wliole of tlie Old Testament (as in John 10, 35. 
2 Tim 3, 16) — which is still more frequently de- 
noted by the plural {ypacpal, scriptures) of which 
some find the earliest example in Daniel 9, 2. 
(Compare John 2, 22 and 5, 39.) With this plural 
Paul employs the epithets holy (Rom. 1, 2) and 
sacred (2 Tim. 3, 15), which are (Confounded in the 
English version. 

§ 9. The English adjectives derived from these 
names {Biblical and Scripticral), although substan- 
tially synonymous, are not entirely convertible in 
usage ; the latter being commonly employed to ex- 
press internal agreement with the Word of God, 
the former what externally belongs to it, as in the 
phrases, " scriptural doctrine," " biblical learning," 
in which the epithets cannot conveniently be inter- 

§ 10. Applying to the Book w^hich we distin- 
guish from all others as the Scriptures^ or the 
Bihle^ the definitions previously laid down, we may 
understand by the term Biblical Literature^ in its 
subjective sense, the knowledge of the Bible, as a" 
book, or of the writings w^hicli compose it, as books. 

§ 9. What is the true distinction (in English usage) between 
"biblical" and " scriptural" ? 

^ 10. What is Bil»linal literature:-' 


not merely of tlicir substance or contents, bnt of 
their form, text, language, structure, style and 

§ 11. Here again, as in the case of Sacred Lit- 
erature, we may conveniently distinguish a wider 
and a narrower application of the term ; the former 
comprehending Interpretation, not only as a part, 
but as the most important part of Biblical Litera- 
ture, to which its other elements are merely aux- 

§ 12. But Literpretation is the business of a life- 
time, which, so far from being finished in a course 
of academical instruction, can only be prepared for 
and begun. And as this preparation and begin- 
ning are not confined to any one dej)artment, but 
diffused, at least in theory, through all, we need a 
more specific definition of the study upon which we 
are now entering. 

§ 13. Bibliccil Literature^ then, in the restricted 
sense, excludes Interpretation proper, not as being 
either unimportant or irrelevant, but, on the con- 
trary, as the all-important end to which it is itself 
a necessary means. In other words, it compre- 

§ 11. What is its widest application? 
§ 12. Why must interpretation be excluded? 
§ 13. What is the more restricted sense of Biblical Literature? 


hends those studies wMcli may be regarded as aux- 
iliary to the Exegesis, or the actual Interpretation of 
the Word of God. 

§ 14. Biblical Literature^ thus defined, may be 
correctly represented both as an ancient and a 
modern science. In its essential elements and 
parts, it is coeval with Interpretation, properly so 
called. Ever since men have attempted to ex- 
pound the Scriptures, they have unavoidably made 
some use of these auxiliary studies ; but in ancient 
times without reducing them to system, as a science 
or distinct branch of sacred learning. Im]3ortant 
contributions, both of material and principle, are 
due to such men as Jerome and Augustin in the 
ancient church ; to Junilius and Cassiodorus, at a 
somewhat later date ; to Alcuin and Photius in the 
middle ages. But, as a methodized and systematic 
science, it is scarcely older than the Keformation, 
and has been developed chiefly since that great 
event, especially among the Germans, where it has 
become a mighty engine for the propagation of 
sceptical theology, which is a reason not for neg- 
lecting it, but rather for its more assiduous culti- 

§ 14. How old is this science ? In what sense is it ancient ? In 
what sense is it modern ? When and where has it chiefly flour- 
ished ? How has it been abused ? How is the abuse to be cor- 
rected ? 


vation, as the only antidote to sucli perversion, and 
the best security for sound interpretation. 

§ 15. Another reason for attending to these 
studies here is that more than any other they en- 
sure attention to the Word of God hereafter by 
making it now a subject of investigation as a 
whole, and in its principal divisions, with their 
mutual relations, and the most efficient methods of 
minute and thorough exposition, to be carried out in 
future life, not as a literary pastime, or a merely 
intellectual employment, but as the great work of 
the ministry, by which the staple of its pastoral in- 
structions must be chiefly furnished. This prospec- 
tive influence on future labor is not so efiectually 
exerted by the minute interpretation of small por- 
tions of the Word — however valuable in itself, and 
in its bearing upon other ends — as by a more discur- 
sive and apparently more superflcial view of those 
preliminary and auxiliary studies, which are com- 
prehended in the conventional and somewhat vague 
term. Biblical Literature. 

§ 16. The intimate relation thus existing between 
these auxiliary studies and the great work of interpre- 

§ 15. "Why should it form a part of theological instruction? In 
what respect is it more useful than actual interpretation ? 

§ 16. What was the earliest form given to this science? What 


tation led to the early adoption of tlie Isagogic form 
and metliod, wliicli regards tliem as directly intro- 
ductory or preliminary {elaaycoyrj from ela-dym, in- 
troduco) to actual exegesis or interpretation of tlie 
Scriptm-es. Tlins the learned Roman Catholic, 
Pagninns, who died before the middle of the six- 
teenth centmy, wrote two works, nnder the Greek 
title Isagoge (cid sacras literas, and ad mysticos 
sacroe scripturm sensus). The same title was adopted 
in the next century by the great French Protestant 
divine Andrew Eivet. {Isagoge ad Scripturam 
Sacram). Carpzovius and others used the corre- 
sponding Latin title Introdicctio^ which has since be- 
come the current one, not only in Latin but in Eng- 
lish {Introduction) and German {Einleitung), 

§ 17. The idea of an Introduction, being rela- 
tive, varied in extent, according to the judgment or 
convenience of the wi'iter. One of the most com- 
prehensive applications of the title is in Thomas 
Ilartwell Home's well-known work in four vol- 
umes, which embraces all that can be reckoned 
introductory or even auxiliary to interpretation, 
not exce]3ting the evidences of revealed religion. 

was it called ia Greek, and by whom ? What in Latin ? English ? 
German ? 

§ 17. How much is included in. the term introduction? Which 
part do the Germans commonly exclude ? 


nor biblical antiquities, geography included, which, 
though certainly belonging to Biblical Literature 
in the widest sense, are commonly omitted by the 
Germans in their technical use and definition of the 
term Einleitung. 

§ 18. Tlie usual practice has been to divide 
Introduction into two parts : General and Special ; 
the former including what relates to the whole 
Bible or to one of its great parts, considered as a 
whole ; the other what can be conveniently con- 
sidered only in connection with the several books. 

§ 19. The order of these two parts has not al- 
ways been the same, though commonly the one first 
stated. Some writers of celebrity, however, have 
begun with Special Introduction, for the sake of a 
more chronological arrangement, by beginning with 
the history of the several books before reciting that 
of their collection into one book. 

§ 20. This has led in later times to another 
view of the whole subject and a corresponding dif- 
ference in arrangement and the mode of treatment, 
not as introductory to any thing, but as independent 

§ 18. What has been the usual division of Biblical Introduction? 
§ 19. In what two ways have these parts been arranged? 
§ 20. What is the historical theory and method ? Who intro- 
duced the title " Critical History " ? 


and complete in itself; or rather as a branch of his- 
tory, literary or ecclesiastical ; a theory long ago 
suggested, although not carried out, by Eichard 
Simon, a learned Roman Catholic, near the close of 
the seventeenth century, in his Histoires Critiques^ 
or Critical Histories of the Old and New Testa- 
ment, the Yersions, Commentators, &c. 

§ 21. As this difierence affects only the arrange- 
ment and the nomenclature of the subject, leaving 
its substance unchanged, it is purely a question 
of convenience, or at most of literary taste, which 
is likely to be variously answered according to 
the predilection of the writer or the teacher for his- 
torical or exegetical studies. There is certainly no 
ground for the extravagant and vehement denun- 
ciation of the older (isagogical) method, by some re- 
cent German writers, as unphilosophical and obso- 
lete.* To those who estimate such studies by 
their bearing on Interpretation, it will always seem 
more natural to treat them as a branch of it, or 
rather as an introduction to it ; while to others or 
the same, it will be recommended by its obvious 
convenience in descending from generals to particu- 

* Reuss — Guericke (2d. ed.) 

§ 21. What is the mutual relation of these methods? What 
false view has been taken by some recent writers ? What are the 
advantages of the old Isagogical method ? 


lars, and looking at the Bible as a whole, before ex- 
amining its parts, at least in the minute details. 

22. This subject, even in its most curtailed 
dimensions, is too vast and various to be subjected 
to a single process of investigation or compressed 
\nto a single course of study and instruction. Of 
the different divisions which have been propos- 
ed or acted on, the most satisfactory in theory 
and practice is the one founded on the immemorial 
and universally familiar distinction of the Old and/ 
New Testament. 

§ 23. This word, both in English and in Latin 
{testamentum\ means a last will, or final disposi- 
tion of one's property, to take effect after the death 
of the testator.* It is used in the Latin Yulgate 
to translate the Greek word BiaS^TjKTj, not only 
when it means a testamentary arrangement (as in 
Heb. 9, 16. 17), but also when it means a dis- 

* It is worthy of remark that while ^HesfamenV has acquired 
this secondary meaning, which it would now be folly to disturb, its 
kindred terms, testamentary^ testator^ and intestate, are never used 
in any but their primary and proper application. 

§ 22. Why must the subject of Biblical Literature be divided ? 
What is the most satisfactory division ? 

§ 23. What is the origin of "Testament," as thus applied? 
What is the origin of the phrase " Old Testament " ? When was 
the phrase New Testament applied ? 


j)ensatioii or divine economy (as in Gal. 4, 24. 
Heb. 9, 15), and when it means a mutual arrange- 
ment or a covenant (as in Rom. 11, 27 and pas- 
sim). From the sense of dispensation or econo- 
my the transition was an easy one to that of its 
appropriate and peculiar revelation, in which sense 
Paul employs the phrase irdKaia hia^r\ic7] (2 Cor. 
3, 14) in immediate connection with the act of 
reading {avayvcaaer]^) and with obvious reference 
to the Hebrew Scriptures. In exact analogy 
to this apostolical expression, the correlative phrase, 
KaivT] hia^rjKri, may be used to designate the Greek 
Scriptures, or the Christian revelation, thougli ap- 
plied in the New Testament itself only to the new 
covenant or dispensation, of which these books are 
. the written charter or organic law. (See Matt. 26, 
28. 2 Cor. 3, 6. Heb. 8, 8. 9, 15. 12, 24.) Tliis 
analogous use of Kaivrj BcoStjkt] is at least as old 
as Origen, and that of Novum Testamenturii may 
be traced still further back, to Tertullian, and per- 
haps to the oldest Latin version in which this 
phrase may have coexisted with the kindred one 
of Novum liistrumentum. 

§ 24. The distinction here proposed is not con- 

§ 24. Why may the two Testaments be separately treated ! 
What is the dificrence in age? lu language ? In subject? 


ventional or arbitrary, but arises from the mutual 
relation of the parts, which, although constituting 
one revelation, and inseparable from each other, 
and reciprocally necessary in the process of inter- 
pretation, are still formally so far unlike as to ad- 
mit and even to require somewhat different exeget- 
ical appliances and processes. Such are found nec- 
essary in the writings of two different ages, even 
where the language is essentially the same, as in 
tlie case of Homer and Demosthenes, Chaucer and 
Shakspeare. How much more when the languages 
are not only different, but of different stocks, as in 
the case of Greek and Hebrew ! The same neces- 
sity arises in some measure from the difference of 
subject and design between a preparatory and com- 
pleted revelation, a ceremonial and a spiritual dis- 
pensation. This division has accordingly been long 
adopted by the best German writers on the subject. 

§ 25. The only plausible objection to the sepa- 
ration here suggested is the one arising from the 
danger of interpreting the Old and New Testa- 
ments without regard to one another ; and this is 
rather theoretical than practical, as all experience 
shows how utterly impossible that process is, where 

§ 25. What objection is there to this method? How may it be 
answered ? 


both parts are received as equally inspired. Least 
of all is sucli an error to be apprehended either on 
the part of teachers or of learners, in our public in- 
stitutions, where the study of both testaments is 
constantly and simultaneously pursued, as parts of 
the same uniform and homogeneous system. Where 
either portion of the "Word is neglected for the sake 
of the other, the abuse must spring from personal 
obliquity of judgment rather than from any formal 
distribution or arrangement. 

§ 26. If the critical study of the Scriptures were 
preceded by no early and more superficial knowl- 
edge of them ; if the Bible were as unknown to the 
student of theology as the Yedas, or even as the 
Koran ; the only reasonable method would be to dis- 
pose of the Old Testament before proceeding to the 
New. But as we all know something of the Scrip- 
tures from our childhood, and the object of profes- 
sional interpretation is not so much to discover what 
is new, as to perfect and reduce to system what is 
partially known already, there is neither theoreti- 
cal absurdity nor practical inconvenience in pursu- 
ing the two studies at the same time in parallel 
courses. And as most of us are first and best ac- 

§ 26. Why may the two courses be pursued ^i- once ? Why may 
we beprin with the New Testament? 


quainted with the later revelation, there is nothing 
to forbid, if nothing to require or recommend, our 
taking the last first, and immediately proceeding 
to the proper subject of this course, to wit : 'New 
Testament Literature or Introduction. 

§ 27. Applying the previous definitions and dis- 
tinctions to this part of Scripture, we may under- 
stand JVci/) Testament Literature as denoting the 
knowledge of the [N'ew Testament, as a book, or of 
the writings which compose it, as books ; not 
merely the truth which they contain, but their pe- 
culiar form and literary history. 

§ 28. To this as well as to the Old Testament, 
the same two theories have been applied, with the 
two corresponding modes of treatment, the Isagog- 
ical and the Historical. The former has been com- 
monly adopted till within a few years, Richard 
Simon's Histoire Critique clu Nouveau Testament 
(1689) being rather an apparent than a real excep- 
tion, and including only a part of the whole 

§ 29. The rise of the sceptical theology in Ger> 
many was not without effect upon this branch of 

§ 27. What is New Testament Literature? 

§ 28. Wliat two theories and plans have been applied to it ? 

§ 29. How was it affected by the sceptical theology of Gcr- 


learning, and was reciprocally aided by it. On 
tlic boundary between old doctrines and neology 
stands John David Micliaelis, of Gottingen, whose 
Introduction to the New Testament was originally 
published in 1750, carrying out the critical princi- 
ples of Richard Simon, and doing good service in 
relation to the text and ancient versions. To the 
fourth edition of this work were added valuable 
notes by Herbert Marsh, of Cambridge, afterwards 
Bishop of Peterboro', translated into German by 
the younger Eosenmiiller (1795). Between the first 
and fourth editions, Semler had begun to treat the 
subject rationalistically in his " Apparatus ad liber- 
tatem Novi Testament! Interpretationem " (1767), 
and his treatise on the free investigation of the 
Canon (1771 — 1775). The process thus begun was 
carried further by Eichhorn, in his Introduction, 
published during the first quarter of the present 
century (1804 — 1827), and reached its height in 
that of DeWette, the first edition of w^hich ap- 
peared in 1826, and the fifth in 1848. In the 
"mean time a reaction had begun, promoted by the 
learned and ingenious Roman Catholic, John Leon- 
ard Hug, whose Introduction appeared first in 
1808 (fourth edition, 1817). 

many ? What were the principal New Testament Introductions of 
this school? Who may be considered as beginning the reaction ? 


§ 30. Among those who contributed to this reac- 
tion was II. F. Giiericke, an orthodox and pious Lu- 
theran of Halle, in his Contributions to 'New Testa-' 
ment Introduction, occasioned by DeWette's publica- 
tions (1828), his Further Contributions (1831), and 
finally, his formal Introduction (1843), which may 
be regarded as a summary of all that went before, 
designed expressly to resist the infidel tendency of 
the age, and to maintain the inspiration and divine 
authority of Holy Scripture. This work was con- 
structed on the old isagogical principle ; but in its 
latest and best form, divided into General and Spe- 
cial Introduction, presenting first what relates to 
the ISTew Testament collectively, and then what is 
peculiar to the several books. 

§ 31. After this work was printed, but before its 
publication, another of the same general character 
was brought out by a young Professor (Reuss) of 
Strasburg, in which the isagogical method was en- 
tirely discarded, and the subject treated, not as in- 
troductory to exegesis, but as a branch of history, 

§ 30. Who continued it? What was the character and plan of 
Guerrckc's first edition ? 

§ 31. What change was introduced by Reuss? What effect had 
this on Guericke? To what extreme did he go in his last edition? 
What is the true -view of these rival methods? Of what inconsis- 
tency was Guericke guilty ? (That of retaining the word Isagogik.) 


and therefore chronologically ordered, under six suc- 
cessive topics, without any division into General 
and Special. This arrangement, disapproved by 
- Gnericke in the preface to his first edition, was 
adopted in the second (1853), after having been 
reissued by its author in a fuller and completer 
form. Not satisfied with this change, Gnericke 
denounces all adherence to the old isagogical 
method as behind the age and utterly unscientific ; 
whereas, both arrangements, as we have already 
seen, are views of the same object from two difi'er- 
ent points of observation, and the old one has ad- 
vantages peculiar to itself. 

§ 32. As this historical arrangement, although 
not more scientific than the other, and practically 
less convenient for our purpose, is ingenious in it- 
self, and likely to remain in vogue until another is 
discovered, it may not be without use to introduce 
the scheme, as first proposed by Eeuss, and slightly 
modified by Gnericke. The whole subject is re- 
duced to six consecutive heads, without subdivision, 
and may be expressed as follows : 

1. The history of the preparation for the Kew 
Testament revelation [or its antecedents]. 

§ 82. Why is it well to be acquainted with the historical ar- 
rangement ? What are the six topics of Guericke and Reuss ? 




2. The history of its origin [viz., that of the Cjf^ 
several tooks, seriatim]. - ^ 

3. Tlie history of their collection [or of the Kew Lt^Ml 
Testament Canon]. /> 

4. The history of its preservation [or of the//^*^ 
New Testament Text]. ^ - 

5. The history of its circulation or diffusion [^j(j4CMfj 
the aid of versions]. 

6. The history of its usage or application ^ [in C^ 
the way of exegesis or interpretation]. 

§ 33. Having thus exhibited the new historical 
arrangement of the subject, for the purpose of com- 
parison and reference, we now return to the more 
familiar and convenient isagogical method, which 
considers the whole subject, not as a chapter of 
literary history, but as a preparation for the work 
of actual interpretation, and divides it into two 
great parts, called General and jSpecicd Introdiic- 
tion / the former, as we have already seen, embrac- 
ing what relates to the New Testament or all its 
books, collectively ; the latter what belongs to the 
books singly, and can be satisfactorily treated, only 
by examining them in detail, and one by one. 

* So Reuss (not Guericke). 

§ 33. What method will be used in this course ? What is the 
primary division of the subject? Why is the extent of general In- 
troduction variable ? 


Tlie first of these divisions, being rather a conven- 
tional or arbitrary than a scientific or a necessary 
one, may be expanded or contracted at our own 

§ 34. But whatever be the topics comprehended 
under General Introduction, it is highly im]3ortant 
to arrange them, not at random, or by any arbi- 
trary method, such as the alphabetical, but on 
some rational intelligible principle, by which is not 
meant one that is purely philosophical or scientific, 
but simply one for which a reason can be given, as 
opposed to one that is merely accidental or capri- 
cious. Tlie best mode of obtaining such a method 
in the present case is by adhering to the isagogic 
principle, considering interpretation as the end to be 
attained, and then inquiring what preliminary ques- 
tions must be answered, or may be answered with 
advantage, before entering on the ultimate and 
main work of exegesis or actual interpretation. 

§ 35. Taking the widest view of General In- 
troduction that has been proposed by any writer, 
and supposing the interpreter to be incited, not by 

§ 34. How should its topics be arranged ? What is meant by a 
rational method ? To what is it opposed ? How may such a 
method be obtained? 

§ 35. What is to be assumed in the apphcation of this princi- 
ple? What then is the first preHminary question? What other 


mere literary curiosity, or vague desire of knowl- 
edge for its own sake, but by religious motives, and 
especially an earnest wish to know the will of God, 
the first preliminary question which might be ex- 
pected to present itself is this : What reason is 
there to believe a revelation possible or necessary — 
or, if this be granted, what reason -is there to be- 
lieve this book to be the Word of God — or this 
'New Testament to be a part of such a revelation ? 
Supposing this to be determined, the next questions 
would be : What are the writings which compose 
this volume ? What detailed compositions have a 
right to a place in this collection? These two 
questions may appear to involve each other ; but 
the fact is certain that even where the inspiration ■ 
of the Bible, as a whole, is granted, there may be a 
doubt as to the parts of which it is composed. 

§ 36. A third preliminary question, in the case 
supposed, is, whether this book, or these writings 
which compose it, are precisely as they were at 
first, and exhibit the ipsissima verba of the sacred 

question does it raise ? What is the next question ? What other 
question does it raise ? Why do these questions not involve each 
other ? 

§ 36. What is a third preliminary question ? What other ques- 
tion does it raise ? What do these questions presuppose ? What 
is the previous question thus suggested ? 


writers ; or if not, whether they can be restored to 
their original condition. The sohition, and even 
the investigation, of this question, presupposes some 
acquaintance with the language in which the book 
is written. It may, therefore, be presented as a pre- 
vious or intermediate question. What that lan- 
guage is — its origin — its history — its character — the 
means by wliich it may be mastered — and the 
sources from which illustrations may be drawn ? 

§ 37. Supposing this essential knowledge to have 
been acquired, the question in relation to the text 
may be successfully pursued. But even when it 
has been answered, it is found that the book, al- 
though verbally intelligible, is obscured by per- 
petual allusions to remote times and places, to 
peculiar climates, soils, and products, to a state of 
society unlike our own, to personal habits, to do- 
mestic, social, civil, and religious institutions, of a' 
kind with which the reader has no personal ac- 
quaintance, and of which he must know something, 
in a general way at least, before he can attempt 
interpretation in detail, with any prospect of suc- 
cess. We may now suppose him to have gained 
this knowledge ; but before he enters on the work 
of exegesis with entire satisfaction, he will natu- 
rally ask another question, really including two. 

§ 37. What is the fourth pi^eliminary qncstion ? 


§ 38. Tliis is the question : How — upon what 
princij)les, the work is to be carried on ? How far 
must the interpretation of this book as an inspired 
one, be different from that of a mere human compo- 
sition ? And a man of due humility and self-dis- 
trust would scarcely fail to add the question, What 
have others done before me in the effort to explain 
this book to others, or to understand it for them- 
selves ? What rules have they adopted or laid 
down ? and what are the results ? What means of 
illustration, and facilities for study, have they left 
to their successors ? And how may we avail oxwjfff 
selves of their assistance to the most advantage \: 
These concluding questions being satisfactorily an- 
swered, the way to a correct interpretation of this 
part of Scripture is completely open, and requires 
only to be diligently walked in. 

§ 39. This may seem to place the business ^ of 
interpretation at too great a distance, and to hinder 
the approach to it by too many obstructions. But 
this discouraging impression may be rectified by 
recollecting that it is not the minute detail, in- 

§ 38. What is the fifth preliminary question ? What is the 
sixth ? 

§ 39. What objection may be made to the foregoing statement? 
How may it be answered ? What use may be now made of these 
questions ? 


eluded under these successive topics, that is abso- 
lutely necessary as an introduction to the actual 
processes of exegesis, but only a correct acquain- 
tance with the main points upon which the rest de- 
23end. When these are mastered, even in their prin- 
ciples or outlines, the very process of interpretation 
will throw light upon the others, and receive light 
from them by a mutual reflection. But interpreta- 
tion cannot even be begun, in an intelligent and 
profitable manner, without a previous solution, 
however general and superficial, of the questions 
which have been successively propounded, and the 
answers to which comprehend the whole of General 
Introduction in its widest sense. As an aid to the 
memory, let us briefiy recapitulate the questions, 
and observe their correspondence with the parts of 

§ 40. To the first question — (what reason have we 
to regard the Bible as the Word of God ?) — the answer 
is afforded by that part of Introduction, in the 
widest application of the term, which the Germans 
call Ajpologetik^ and which we, for want of any 
technical expression, call the Evidences of Revealed 

§ 40. How is the first question to be answered? How is the 
second to be answered ? How is the third to be answered? How 
is the fourth to be answered ? What is the technical use of the 
terms " text" and " "riticism " ? 


Religion. To the second question — (what particu- 
lar writings are entitled to a place in this inspired 
collection ?) — tRe answer includes all that relates to 
what is technically called the Canon of {ScrijptuTG 
or of^ the New Testament. To the third question 
— (what is the original language, its affinities, its 
history, its character, the means of its elucidation ?) 
— the answer is afforded by that part of Introduction 
called New Testament [or BiblicaT] Philology. To 
the fourth question — (how may the exact words of 
the sacred writers be determined ? and how far has 
this been done already ?) — the answer is afforded by 
New Testament [or BihlicaT] Criticism^ i. e. of the 
text^ using both words in their technical and narrow 

§ 41. The fifth question — (what were the pecu- 
liar circumstances of the people mentioned in the 
Bible, as to country, climate, habits, institutions, 
some knowledge of which is necessary to a correct 
determination of its meaning ?) — opens the whole 
subject of Antiquities or Archo3ology\, including the 
Geograjphy of Scripture. Tlie answer to the sixth 
question — (what are the principles and laws of 

§ 41. How is the fifth question to be answered ? How is the 
sixth question to be answered ? How is the seventh question to be 
answered ? Why may the sixth and seventh be transposed ? 


biblical interpretation?) — corresponds to what is 
technically known as Heroneneutics, differing from 
Exegesis^ as tlie science from tlie art, or theory 
from practice. But as this is an inductive science, 
resting more upon experience and common sense 
than on any abstract speculations a priori^ it is not 
to be severed from the seventh and last question — 
(what has been already done in this department ?) 
— corresponding to the History of Interjjretation. 
Indeed, it may be found most convenient in prac- 
tice, to give this the preference in order of consid- 
eration,. so as to secure tlie advantage of historical 
induction in determining our rules and principles 
of exegesis. 

§ 42. Such is a brief view of the topics compre- 
hended in the widest application of the technical 
term Introduction^ and actually treated in some 
works npon the subject, as for instance that of 
Home already mentioned (§ W). But in order to 
reduce the field to manageable compass [as well 
as to accommodate our own arrangements], it will 
be necessary to eliminate several of these topics, al- 
though not precisely on the same grounds. One of 

§ 42. Where is this scheme carried out in its full extent? Why 
must it be reduced to narrower limits ? How may this be effected? 
Why may the evidences be omitted ? Why may Antiquities and 
Geography be omitted ? Why may Ilermencutics be omitted? 


these, the first in our enumeration, though a funda- 
mental and preliminary question, belongs rather to 
Theology than to Introduction, and is either pre- 
supposed or included in that study. Another, 
holding the fifth place, may be excluded on the . ■ , i^isJ 
ground that it is rather a collateral auxiliary than . 
an introductory preliminary study. . This, with its 
vast extent and growing interest, requires it to be 
separately treated [as I hope it will be in our 
course of study]. The only other topic which can 
be omitted is that of Hermeneutics^ on the ground 
that it cannot well' be separately handled in connec- 
tion with the two great divisions of the Bible, but 
must be disposed of once for all, without regard to 
this conventional distinction. 

§ 43. The elimination of these topics leaves us 
four, to constitute the first part of our present 
course, distinguished from the last part by the name 
of General Introduction. I. The New Testament 
Canon (or the books entitled to a place in the col- 
lection). II. The Neio Testament Philology (or all 
that relates to the Original Language). III. The 
I^ew Testament Text and Textual Criticism (by 
which we determine the ipsissima verba of the 

§ 43. How many topics still remain? What is the first? What 
is the second ? What is the third ? What is the fourth ? What 
part of it belongs to Special Introduction ? 


sacred writers). TV. The Exegetical History of the 
New Testament (including that of Yersions, ancient 
and modern, and that of schools and systems of 
interpretation, but excluding that of individual 
books and writers, which belongs to Sjxcial Intro- 

% 44. The transition or connecting link between 
General and Special Introduction will be furnished 
by a topic which belongs exclusively to neither, 
and yet partially to both — to the second, as con- 
cerning the particular books — to the first, as neces- 
sarily j)receding their minute examination one by 
one. This is the topic of Classification and Ar- 
rangement, under which we may arrange some 
matters commonly connected with the Canon, such 
as the circumstances out of which the Christian 
Eevelation (or New Testament) arose, and the traces 
of an actual collection of the books into a volume ; 
the canonical history of each book, as detailed proof 
of its canonicity, belonging necessarily to Special 

§ 45. The first division, then, of General In- 

§ 44. What is the transition or connecting link with Special In- 
troduction? How far does it belong to both ? What may be con- 
Teniently referred to this intermediate topic? 

§ 45. What is the first topic of General Introduction? What 
are the questions which it undertakes to answer ? Why are these 


TRODUCTiON is the Canon of Scrvpticre^ or, according 
to the distribution which we have adopted (§ 22 — 
26), that of the New Testament. By means of the 
arrangement just proposed (§ 44) we are enabled to 
reduce this topic to a reasonable compass, introduc- 
ing only what is absolutely necessary as a prelimi- 
nary to the others ; and in answer to the question, 
What shall we interpret? answer, the New Tes- 
tament. But what is the l!^ew Testament ? What 
volume is entitled to the name? The Book of 
Mormon, or the Koran, might be lettered the 
" N'ew Testament," but this would not entitle them 
to be so reckoned ; and even when we have iden- 
tified the volume as a whole, the question still re- 
mains to be decided. What books are entitled to a 
place in this collection? Are the twenty- seven 
books which now compose it those which were ac- 
knowledged by the church from the beginning — 
neither more nor less ? Tlie question with which 
we are directly here concerned is not whether these 
books are inspired, but whether they were so con- 
sidered by the church from the days of the apostles, 
and thereby entitled to a place in the Canon ? 

§ 46. Tlie Greek word {Kavwv) may be traced to 

necessary as preliminary questions? How is this topic related to 
that of inspiration ? 
' § 46. "What is the etymology of canon and canonical ? "What 


one originally meaning a cane or reed — then any 
straight rod suitable for measuring or for keeping 
other things straight — with specific application to 
the beam of a balance — or, as some say, to its per- 
pendicular support — but certainly denoting, as a 
secondary meaning, any rule or standard, physical 
or moral. It is then applied, by way of emi- 
nence, to the Rule of Faith and to the Scriptures, 
or inspired AVord of God, as constituting that rule.* 
The sense of list or catalogue attached by some to 
this word, is entirely derivative and later in its 
origin. The cognate adjective to canon is canonical, 
belonging to the Canon, or the Rule of Faith. Its 
correlatives and opposites, apocrypha, apocryphal, 
derived from aTroKpvTrrco, to hide from or to hide 
away, and variously used by ancient writers to de- 
note what is secret or mysterious, anonymous or of 
uncertain origin, spurious or counterfeit, untrue or 
fabulous, heretical or doctrinally false, but as a 
technical and ecclesiastical expression meaning sim- 

* "By the straight we judge both itself and the crooked, for 
the rule is singly the test of both {Kpir^s ajx^oiv b Kavdjvy Aris- 
totle de Anima, c. 5, § 16, ed. Trendelenburg, quoted by Archer 
Butler, vol. ii. p. 885 (ed. W. H. Thompson). 

is that of apocrypha ? "What are the various senses of apocryphal ? 
What is its technical and strict sense ? Why are the Apostolic 
Fathers not Apocryphal ? 


ply and specifically sometliing wliicli purports or 
claims to be a part of Holy Scripture, but is not so, 
perhaps with the accessory notion of uncertain ori- 
gin, by which the so-called Apostolic Fathers are 
exempted from the application of the term, though 
some of them were anciently regarded as inspired, 
and their writings read in public worship. 

§ 47. The precise point to be determined under 
this head is the identity of the book which we call 
the New Testament, and of the writings which com- 
pose it now, with those acknowledged, under the 
same names, from the 'beginning, as belonging to 
the Canon or the Rule of Faith. There are two 
methods of conducting this inquiry, which may be 
distinguished as the a priori and a posteriori pro- 
cess. The first consists of a historical deduction in 
the order of time, tracing the origin of each book, 
and of the entire collection, with the proofs of their 
continued existence to the present time. This is the 
course adopted by those writers who prefer the 
Historical arrangement to the Isagogical .(§ 21, 22, 
23). Under the latter plan which we are now pur- 
suing, this deduction may be most conveniently pre- 
sented in its outlines at the close of the General 

§ 4*7. What is the precise point to be settled? What arc the 
two methods of proceeding ? What is the a priori method ? Where 
docs it properly belong ? What is the a posteriori method ? 


Introduction in connection with the subject of Clas- 
sification and Arrangement, and in its details in the 
Special Introduction to the several books of the 
'New Testament. In this place, and in answer to 
the j)reliminary question just propounded, it will 
only be necessary to present in brief the a poste- 
riori argument for the identity of our New Testa- 
ment with that which came from the Apostles, set- 
ting out from undisputed and notorious facts be- 
longing to the present, and then tracing up the 
testimony to the very times of the Apostles. 

§ 48. The fact from which we set out in this a 
posteriori process is the palpable and certain one, 
that the book now called the 'New Testament is the 
same in every language, and throughout the world. 
This statement has no reference to minute varia- 
tions of the text, which will be afterwards consid- 
ered, but to the collection as a whole, and to the 
smaller books of which it is composed. This uni- 
formity is the more remarkable, because it has no 
existence in the case of the Old Testament, one of 
the points of difference between most Protestants 
and the Church of Rome, relating to the canon of 
the Hebrew Scriptures ; whereas, although the 

§ 48. What is the starting point in this inquiry ? How is this 
statement to be understood ? Is it equally true of the Old Testa- 


"New Testament apocrypha are still more numerous, 
not one of tliem is anywhere regarded as belonging 
to the Canon, but all critics and all nations and all 
churches, are agreed in acknowledging the same 
'New Testament, composed of the same twenty- 
seven books, neither more nor less. 

§ 49. The next fact, equally notorious and cer- 
tain, although more remote from our immediate 
sphere of observation, is that this identity or unifor- 
mity Ims constantly existed for a period of more 
than 1400 years ; before as well as since the Refor- 
mation ; through the Middle Ages ; back to the 
close of the fourth century. The evidence of this 
fact is both negative and positive, arising from the 
absence of all contrary appearances throughout this 
series of ages, and confirmed by explicit testimony, 
at the date referred to, that the same Xew Testa- 
ment which we possess, and made up of the sai'ne 
books, was then both in public use and private cir- 
culation. This explicit testimony is afforded both 
by individuals and by collective bodies, of great 
eminence, and highly qualified to testify without 
mistake or partiality. 

§ 50. In order to preclude all misconception as 

§ 49. What is the next fact ? What is the twofold proof of it? 
What is the negative proof? What is the positive proof? 


to tills point, It is proper to observe and bear in 
mind, that we appeal to fathers and to councils, 
not as judges, as the Church of Eonie does, but as 
.witnesses to matters of fact, of which they were 
personally cognizant, as well as ex officio. Tlie 
weight of the testimony is to be determined, as in 
other cases, by the character and standing of the 
witness as known aliunde^ by his opportunities of 
information, and his freedom from all motives to 
misrepresent. Measured by this rule, one man 
may deserve more credit than the largest council ; 
but in general the testimony of such bodies is pecu- 
liarly important, as embodying the testimony of 
great numbers ; as preceded often by inquiry and 
discussion; as expressed, not hastily and loosely, 
but with more or less precision and formalitjL,; ^..C 
and, lastly, as transmitted to us, not by vague tra-^ 
dition, but in solemn, and official acts» 

§ 51. The fact already stated, that the Canon of 
the [N'ew Testament, at the close of the fourth cen- 
tury, was j)ei'fectly identical wdth that in universal 

§ 50. What is the authority ascribed in this argument to 
fathers and councils? How is their testimony to be valued? 
What gives pecuUar weight to that of councils ? 

§ 51. What is the testimony of Rufinus? Upon whose authori- 
ty does it rest ? What distinction does he make between canonical 
and other books? What dbes he say of the New Testament Apoc- 


use at present, is attested by Bufinus^ an eminent ^Uxa^ 
Fatlier of the Latin Cliurcli, wlio enumerates the 
books by classes, namely, the Four Gospels, the 
Acts of the Apostles, fourteen epistles of Paul, two 
of Peter, one of James, one of Jude, three of 
John, and the Key elation of the same Apostle. 
That this is no subjective judgment of his own, as 
to what books ought to be received on their own 
merits, but his simple testimony to a historical 
fact, appears from his adding to the list, " lisec sunt 
quae patres inter canonem concluserunt," using the 
word canmi just as we do, and describing it as 
closed or completed, not by him or his contempo- 
raries, but by the patres^ meaning, no doubt, those 
of the primitive or apostolic age. Tliat he does not 
understand by canonical (as Semler did) such books 
as were used in public worship, appears from his 
enumerating others which he calls ecclesiastici, and 
not canoiiici^ because the fathers willed them to be 
read in Church, but not to be adduced in proof of 
doctrine (such as the Shepherd of Hermas, and Old 
Testament Apocrypha), and then distinguishes from 
both classes the E"ew Testament Apocrypha, " quae 
legi noluerunt." The same facts are abundantly 
attested by the still more eminent contemporaries, 
Jerome and Augustin. 

§ 52. This individual testimony, which would ^- 


be almost conclusive by itself, is confirmed as to 
the most essential point, by two contemporary 
councils, both held in North Africa, then one of the 
most prosperous and enlightened portions of the 
Church, within the last ten years of the fourth cen- 
tury. The Council of Hippo (A. D. 393), after or- 
dering that nothing shall be read in church, under 
the name of Divine Scriptures, " prseter Scripturas 
canonicas," proceeds to specify them in the most 
deliberate and formal manner : " Sunt autem ca- 
nonicse scripturse evangeliorum libri quatuor," — 
then follows one book of Acts, 13 epistles of Paul, 
" ejusdem ad Hebrseos una," — 2 of Peter, 3 of .jf 
John, 1 of James, 1 of Jude, and the Apocalypse of 
John, just the Canon of Rufinus, and our own. To 
this decree it is added : " de confirmando isto ca- 
none transmauna ecclesia consulatur " — and accord- 
ingly we find it confirmed, not only by a council at 
Carthage four years later (A. D. 397), but soon after 
by the bishop of Eome (Innocent I.), and long 
after by a Roman council (A. D. 494), showing 
that no change had taken place within a century, 
as none has taken place within the fourteen centu- 
ries that follow. 

§ 52. How is his testimony confirmed ? What is that of the 
Council of Hippo ? By what other witnesses is it confirmed ? 


§ 53. Going further back in the fourth century, 
we find among the writings of Athanasius, the most 
eminent. Greek Father of that age, and the cham- 
pion of the Nicene faith against the Arians, a list 
of the canonical books of the New Testament, com- 
prising the 4 Gospels, Acts, 7 Catholic epistles, 14 
of Paul, and the book of Revelation, as to which 
last it is added, that it was received as John's by 
the ancient saints (or holy) and inspired Fathers. 
This, although in favor of the book, implies that some 
held a different opinion, and is the first intimation 
that we come to in this retrograde inquiry, of the; 
least dissent from the existing canon, which was [ 
then received not only in the Greek and Latin, but ' 
the Syrian Cliurch, as we learn from the fact that 
Ephrem Syrus, its greatest representative, who died^ 
A. D. 378, quotes in his extant writings every one 
of our twenty-seven books. 

§ 54. A contemporary Father of great emi- 

, ^ nence, Gregory ^ Nazianzei^ says of the Apoca- 

lypse that some receive it {eyKpivovaLv\ but that 

§ 53. What is the testimony of Athanasius, or a contemporary 
writer ? What intimation does he give with respect to the Apoca- 
lypse? By what distinct branches of the Church 'Avas our canon 
then received ? 

§ 54. What docs Gregory of Nazianzen say of the Apocalypse ? 
What is the canon of Cyril of Jerusalem ? What is that of the 
Council of Laodicea? Why is its genuineness not essential? 



the majority pronounce it spiirions {ol TrXetoi;? voOov 
Xeyovat). Anotlier, equally distingnislied, Cyril of 
Jerusalem, omits it in his catalogue (including the 
4: Gospels, with a positive exclusion of all others, as 
y^evheiriypa^a /cao /SXa^epa, Acts of 1 2 Apostles, T 
Catholic epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude 
—14 epistles of Paul), then adds : TAAOinATIA- 
NTAEBn KElSenENAETTEPni. Precisely 
the same canon is contained in a decree of the 
Council of Laodicea (360 — 364), which some reject 
as spurious, but which certainly belongs to the fourth 
century, and if not the testimony of a council, is 
9 at least that of another (although an unknown) in- 

§ 55. When we reach the early part of the fourth 
century we come to the famous canon of Eusebius, 
bishop of Cesarea, the confidential friend of Constan- 
tine the Great, and " Father of Church history." 
He divides the Christian boohs of his day into three 
great classes : I. ITomologumena, acknowledged, 
undisputed. II. Antilegomena, assailed or called 
in question. III. Notlia^ or {atopa kai dyssebe). 

% 55. What was the canon of Eusebius ? What books does he 
refer to the several classes ? What doubtful position does he give 
to the Apocalypse? How does he name the classes elsewhere? 
Why does he place the Apocalypse in the first and third divisions ? 
How is it judged by Dionysius of Alexandria — and why? 



Under tlie first |]i€ad lie\Enni^i*aJea tii(^our Gos- 
pels, Acts, EpisllesiytteS^^(^iMm^ ^ imm- 
ber), 1 J(phn, 1 J^eteii^iM ABOcM.yp^ tt^e, (pavelr). 
Under tlie tlmm ilkdaA/^ several 
gospels V aijkiy(cm,jBi the j?iivostles, nov/ univer- 
sally r^*e<5te(^ as apocMJ^W,\ with the Book of 
Revelation, aal}e|<t£e/ et ^az/sfeA-JBetween these, 
nnder tire tiuAo^ Antilegc|i^^m7lie names the five 
smaller Catholi« epistles, w^h the Acts of Paul and 
the Shepherd oA/lTei-jnas. The last two have been 
universally rejei^Jed, and the other five as univer- 
sally r|i^eiv^fifsi]^ce the close of the fourth century, as 
In aiiother place, Eusebius calls the 
Sacred Scriptures^ represents the second 
objected to, but read in most churches, and de- 
scribes the third as " spurious, and alien from apos- 
tolical orthodoxy." In a third place he mentions 
seven Catholic epistles. He nowhere expresses 
any doubt of his own, even as to the Apocalypse or 
Antilegomena, but only records that of others. 
His placing the Apocalypse in the first or third 
class, not the second, seems to imply tliat if not the 
work of an apostle, it w^as an " absurd and impious " 
forgery. Towards the close of the third cen- 
tury, we find Dionysius of Alexandria admitting 
the Apocalypse to be inspired, but denying the 
authorship of John, entirely from internal evidence. 


T^^_fiA>c g 5g^ ^ lit^lg earlier, Origcn, the master of this 
Dionysius, and the most distinguished Father of 
that age, includes the Book of Revelation in a list 
of the canonical books, and names John as its 
I author, but omits the hve shorter Catholic epistles, 
and describes that to the Hebrews as containing 
Paul's thoughts in the language of another. He j 
elsewhere mentions that of James as current {(jyepo- 
fMevrj) under that name, and 2 Peter, 2 and 3 ! 
John, as doubted by others — and he once speaks of 
Peter's two epistles, and of John's in the plural 
number, and refers to those of James and Jude. 
His voluminous writings, some of which are lost, 
are said to contain abundant quotations from all 
the books now in the Canon. This may serve to 
show that mere omissions in these ancient cata- | 
logues must not be made to prove too much. 

^)y^^^ii: § 57. Cyprian, Origen's contemporary in the 
■ f . ,.c-f Western Church, refers to all the books now in the 
Canon, except Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 
3 John, and Jude. Clement of Alexandria, Ori- 
gen's predecessor and preceptor (A. D. 220), rec- 

§ 56. What is the canon of Origen ? How does he vary from it 
elsewhere? What parts of the New Testament are quoted in his 
writings ? What may be inferred from this ? 

§ 57. What is the Canon of Cyprian ? What is that of Clemens 
Alexandrinus ? What is that of Irena3us ? 


ognizes the four Gospels, Acts, 13 Epistles of Paul, 

1 of Peter, 1 of John, 1 of Jude, and the Book of 
Kevelation. Hebrews he supposes to have been 
originally written by Paul, and translated into 
Greek by Luke. Tlie same writer comments upon 

2 John, and alludes to James and 2 Peter, without 
naming them. His contemporary, Tertullian, the 
oldest of the Latin Fathers (A. D. 222), mentions 
all the books except 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, "but 
represents Hebrews, though canonical, as the work 
of Barnabas. L^enseus, a connecting link between 
the second and third century, and also between the 
Eastern and the Western Church, does not mention 

3 John, alludes to James and 2 Peter, without 
naming them, regards Hebrews as canonical, but 
not of Pauline origin, and recognizes all the other 
books as we do. 

'"'■ ' § 58. The Muratori Canon, a fragment found at 
I^^« in the 18th century, contains a list of the 
books read in churches in the time of Pius L, who 
was bishop of Rome during the second century, 
omitting James, and leaving 2 Peter doubtful, 
and giving Hebrews a different name, and not as- 
signing it a place with Paul's epistles. The Peshito 

§ 58. What is the Muratori Canon ? What is the Peshito ? 
What books of the New Testament does it omit ? What lines of 
testimony here converge ? 


or old Syriac version, made near tlie close of the 
: second century, or early in the third, omits 2 Peter, 2 
j and 3 John, Jude, and Eevelation, all which are 
found in a few manuscripts, but probably of later 
date. As to most of the books, we have thus con- 
current testimony, at the end of the third century, 
from Gaul, Asia Minor, Egypt," Italy, and Car- 

§ 59. Beyond this point we have no formal 
catalogues, but only references and quotations, 
the paucity of which may be accounted for by 
the paucity of writings which contain them ; by 
the slow communication in the ancient world, 
which caused some writings to be late in gaining 
general circulation ; and by the authority which 
still belonged to oral tradition, making reference 
less necessary, even to books which were acknowl- 
edged as inspired, and therefore as canonical. But 
the aggregate testimony of the first and second cen- 
turies is amply sufficient to establish the reception 
of the Gospels, Acts, 13 epistles of Paul, that to 
tlie Hebrews, though not always under his name, 
1 Peter, 1 John, and the Book of Revelation. 

§ 59. What is the nature of the testimony beyond this point? 
How may the paucity of references be accounted for ? What is 
the sum of the testimonies of the first two centuries ? What is the 
result of the whole induction? 


Of the remaining books, tlie one most frequently 
alluded to is Jnde, then 2 John, then James, 
then 3 J^n, and then 2 Peter, which is not ex- 
pressly qnoted in the first or second century, though 
mentioned near its close by Irenseus and Clement 
of Alexandria. Tlie result of this induction may 
be therefore summarily stated thus, that 20 of the 
books now included in the Canon have been homo- 
logumena, or undisputed ab initio ; while the other 
seven are less frequently referred to in the early 
ages, and afterwards spoken of as antilegomena, 
though universally received into the Canon at the 
close of the fourth century. 

§ 60. The question now is, not whether these seven 
books shall be received to an inferior place in the 
Canon, as proposed by Augustine and some of the 
Reformers, but rejected even by the Council of 
Trent ; but whether they are entitled to a position 
of perfect equality with all the rest. The obvious 
reason is, because there can be no such thing as 
half-canonical or half-inspired ; a writing must be 

§ 60. Why can there not be a secondary canon ? What is the * 
true state of the question as to the antilegomena ? What is the 
natural presumption ? Where is the onus probandi ? What charge 
is brought against the ancient church ? How far is it well founded ? 
How may it be disproved in this case ? What absurd assumption 
would be otherwise required ? 


either wholly so or not at all. l^or is the question, 
why should w^e receive these books, as they were 
certainly received at the close of the fourth century ; 
but why should we reject them. The presumption 
raised by their reception then, perhaps on evidence 
no longer in existence, throws the burden of proof 
on those who would exclude them. Nor is this 
presumption weakened by the charge of uncritical 
negligence, which some allege against the ancient 
church, a charge not wholly groundless with re- 
spect 'to the text, but shown to be so with respect 
to the Canon, by the very doubts and difficulties 
now in question ; unless we absurdly assume that 
the caution previously exercised was suddenly 
abandoned at the close of the fourth century. 

§ 61. The only question which remains is, 
whether the acknowledged doubts and hesitations 
as to these seven books can be accounted for on 
grounds consistent w^ith their having been canon- 
ical from the beginning. It is not required that 
the proof be as clear and as abundant as it is in the 
case of the other books, but only that it be suffi- 
cient to remove all reasonable doubt upon the sub- 

§ 61. What is the remaining question? "What is and what is 
not required as to the evidence ? How far (or in what case) are wo 
bound to acquiesce in the decision of the church at the close of 
the fourth century ? 


ject, and confirm the strong presnmption wliicli 
arises from the fact that at the close of the fourth 
century, the balance, which had oscillated for a 
course of ages, was unanimousl j held to preponder- 
ate in favour of tlie books in question. This deci- 
sion we are not only authorized, but bound, to 
acquiesce in, as the church has acquiesced in it for 
fourteen hundred years, provided we can find any 
probable solution of the question why these books, 
if canonical, were ever called in question. 

§ 62. The sufficiency of such an explanation 
will not be impaired, but rather strengthened, by 
its not being uniform or perfectly identical in 
reference to all the books in question. Such a 
sameness might indeed be suspicious, or indicative 
of concert or contrivance for the purpose of secur- 
ing their admission to the Canofi. On the other 
hand, if all, or nearly all, admit of diiferent solutions, 
resting upon different circumstances in the origin 
and history, or in their character and contents, 
there will be no ground for the suspicion above 
mentioned, nor for any further hesitation in accept- 
ing the unanimous testimony of all Christian writ- 
ers at the close of the fourth century, that these books 

§ 62. Why is perfect uniformity of explanation neither neces- 
sary nor desirable? What is now to be shown — and how ? 


were entitled to an absolute equality in this respect, 
witli all tlie others, as having been canonical from 
the beginning. That there is varied yet harmo- 
nious solution in the case of all these books, we 
now proceed to show, going only so far into the de- 
tails as may be necessary for this purpose, and re- 
serving all the rest for other and more suitable 
occasions. (See above, §§ 44, 45). 

§ 63. With respect to the Epistle to the He- 
brews, the peculiar and decisive fact is, that the 
ancient doubts had no relation to its canonicity, but 
only to its authorship, which is not an essential 
circumstance, since many books of Scripture are 
anonymous, and the authorship of some entirely 
uncertain. That some should have doubted whether 
Paul, whose name appears in all his other writings, 
would omit it in this one, was natural enough, es- 
pecially before men had considered any of the pos- 
sible solutions of this singular departure from his 
otherwise invariable practice, such, for example, 
singling one out of many, as that when the Apostle 
of the Gentiles found it necessary to address the 

§ 03. What were the ancient doubts respecting the Epistle to 
the Hebrews ? How may they be accounted for ? How may the 
omission of the author's name be accounted for ? How far is this 
assumption necessary ? Why would this epistle be longer than the 
rest in becoming generally known ? 

NEW testa:^ient literature. 51 

Hebrew Christians, lie omitted that official descrip- 
tion of himself which adds so mncli to his authority 
when writing to the Gentile churches. It is not 
necessary to affirm that this was really the reason, 
but only that it may be thus and otherwise ac- 
counted for, and also that the class of readers ob- 
viously addressed in this epistle would of course 
prevent its being known so early or diffused so 
widely as those which bore the author's name, and 
were addressed to Gentile churches or believers. 

§ 64. The Epistle of James is not anonymous, 
but bears a name of doubtful application, having 
been really ascribed to three diiferent persons so 
called, namely, James the Son of Zebedee, James ~v<>o^^- 
the Son of Alpheus, and James the Brother of the f-^^^ 
Lord, whom many still believe to be distinct from 
both the others. This uncertainty might be suffi- 
cient of itself to cause some hesitation, which would 
be of course increased by the erroneous impression, 
current in all ages, of a doctrinal diversity between 
James and Paul as to the cardinal doctrine of jus- 
tification. If such an one as Martin Luther, in his 
zeal for that articulus stantis et codeatis ecclesise, 
could rashly for a time expunge this epistle from 

^ 64. What was the first ground of hesitation as to the epistle 
of James? What was another more important ground? IIow did 
ft operate in later times ? Why is it now without force ? 


the Canon, surely the same mistake might generate 
some doubt and hesitation in the ancient chnrch, 
although it was canonical from the beginning. 

§ 65. Of the four smaller writings, Jude and 
2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, it may be observed in 
general that they are all comparatively short and 
therefore furnish relatively little matter for quota- 
tion, which accounts for the paucity of references to 
them by the early Christian writers, a fact no more 
decisive of their being uncanonical than the same 
fact proves the same thing of the shortest of Paul's 
writings (the epistle to Philemon) which has never 
been disputed. Of Jude and 2 Peter in particu- 
lar, it may be further said that one cause of sus- 
picion, in the minds of some, was a remarkable 
resemblance, not in sentiment or substance merely, 
but in minute forms of expression, so that one 
might seem to have been copied from the other. 
Now on the natural though false assumption, that but 
one could be canonical, a view refuted by the ob- 
vious analogy of other scriptures,* it is easy to 

* Compare Ps. 14 and 53; Ps. 18 and 2 Sam. 22; Isai. 36 38, 
and 2 Kings, 18. 

§ 65. What remark applies to the four smaller catholic epistles ? 
What may be said of Jude and 2 Peter in particular? Why is 
there really no groimd for doubt or hesitation? What of 2 and 
3 John ? What i:' 1' '" result of these considerations? 


imagine that tlic public judgment might be long 
embarrassed and divided, although finally con- 
vinced that each had held a place in the original 
canon. On the other hand, 2 and 3 John are 
both extremely short, being in fact the smallest 
distinct parts of the New Testament, and both in 
their immediate form and purpose very personal 
and private, and lastly both anonymous or half so, 
as the writer describes, but does not name himself. 
All these are reasons which in part accolmt for the 
deliberation of the ancients in admitting these epis- 
tles to the canon, though entitled to a place there 
ab initio. 

§ 66. Different as these cases are from one an- 
other, they are no less difierent from that of the 
Apocalypse (or book of Eevelation) which is quite 
unique and sui generis. The main fact here is, that 
in tracing the books upward, after finding this one 
undisputed at the close of the fourth century, we 
come first to vague intimations, then to positive as- 
sertions, and at last to argumentative attempts at 
demonstrations, that it cannot be canonical ; but 
passing on still further, we discover it completely 

§ 66. How does the case of the Apocalypse diflfcr from the 
others ? How may this be stated in the reverse order ? To what 
may the canonical history of this book be likened ? How may its 
omission in the Peshito be accounted for? What modern annl'^?"" 


reinstated, and the recognition of it more or less 
distinctly running back to tlie very age of the apos- 
tles. In other words, the book was first received 
by all, then suspected or condemned by some, and 
then again unanimously recognized as genuine. 
It simply sufi'ered an eclipse, which like literal 
eclipses, w^as of brief duration, and has now been 
past for more than 1400 years. But how can we 
account for this eclipse — for this rejection of the 
book by certain Fathers, and for its omission in the 
old Peshito version ? If this last fact be conceded, 
as it is not by all writers of distinction, a sufficient 
explanation is afforded by the circumstance, that 
versions of the Scripture were originally made, not 
for private circulation but for use in public worship, 
and that this book may have been omitted as un- 
suited to that purpose, though believed to be can- 
onical, precisely as the Church of England now 
omits it almost wholly in her calendar of lessons, 
but expressly names it as a part of Holy Scripture 
in her articles of faith. A no less plausible and 
even satisfactory solution of the other fact in refer- 
ence to this book, namely, its exclusion from the 
canon by some Fathers of the third and fourth cen- 

throws light on this hypothesis ? How may the rejection of this 
book by certain councils and fathers be explained? What shows 
this explanation to be the true one? 


tiiries, IS furnislied hj tlie well-kno^vIl circumstance, 
that cliiliastic doctrines of a very gross form tlien 
extensively prevailed, though constantly repudiated 
. by the church at large, and so abhorred by some 
Mi*u^'^^distinguished teachers that it tempted them to 
' sweep away its alleged foundation by discrediting 
the part of Scripture which contained it. Tliat this 
dangerous principle of exegesis was maintained and 
acted on by some, is certain ; and that this great 
error was the cause of the eclipse before referred to, 
is apparent from the circumstance, that as soon as 
the obstruction offered by the cliiliastic errors dis- 
appeared, or was reduced to harmless compass, the 
Apocalypse shone forth again with all its ancient 
but mysterious splendour. 

^67. We have now seen that in reference to all 
these once disputed books, there is, to say the least, 
a possible solution of the doubts which once ex- 
isted, perfectly consistent with their primitive and 
perfect canonicity, and, therefore, that we have no 
reasonable ground for refusing to accept the verdict 
of the church at the close of the fourth century, 
which put these seven books upon an absolute 

§ 67. What is the general result of this examination ? How- 
does the evideuce for the genuineness of those books compare with 
that for other ancient writings, such as the Apocrypha, the Apostol- 
ical Fathers, the Greek and Roman Classics ? 


equality, in this point, with tlie other twenty. Of 
the whole collection, thus restored to its original 
completeness and unity, it may now be observed, in 
conclusion, that the proof of its authenticity and 
genuineness far surpasses not only that of all apoc- 
ryphal productions, which is saying nothing, nor 
that of any of the Apostolic Fathers, wdiicli is saying 
much, but that of any or of all the ancient writings in 
existence, with the single exception of the Hebrew 
Scriptures, which repose upon the same foundation, 
but without excepting the most valued and familiar 
of the Greek and Roman classics, whether Homer, 
Plato, Cicero, or Yirgil, the identity of whose im- 
mortal writings no one ever dreams of questioning, 
though far less ' satisfactorily attested than the 
twenty-seven boohs of the New Testament. 

§ 68. The recej)tion of these twenty-seven books 
into the Canon is, ipso facto, the exclusion of all 
others which have ever claimed a place there, or 
have been considered as entitled to it. Tliis defini- 
tion or description comprehends two very different 
sorts of ancient writings, the Apostolical Fathers 
and the so-called Wew Testament Apocrypha. 
Some account of both will be given below, under 

§ 68. What books are excluded by the Bettlement of the Canon ? 
Where does the description of these books belong ? What is the 


tlie liead of Hellenistic Literature.* All that is 
necessary here is to guard against a false assump- 
tion of some German writers, that all these books, 
canonical and apocryphal were promiscuously used 
at first, and on precisely the same footing, but that 
out of these the imj)roving taste and judgment of 
the Christians finally selected those which consti- 
tute the present canon. Tliis hypothesis, though 
plausible, and seemingly innocuous, would lead to 
very dangerous conclusions, making it impossible 
to separate the elements, and leaving us but one al- 
ternative — either that both are equally inspired or 
neither. The true state of the case is, that no 
books except those now contained in the canon, 
were entitled to a place there ab initio ; that in- 
stead of the canonical books being chosen out of 
the whole mass of Christian writings, the apocry- 
phal books arose from imitation of them. The 
great number of the latter goes to show the neces- 
sity of caution and discrimination in the ancient 
church, and to enhance the evidence in favour of the 
Canon as it now is, by contrasting the small num- 

* Sec above, § 46, and below, §§ 129, 140. 

erroneous modern view of the relation originally borne by these 
books to those now in the Canon ? Why is this a dangerous hy- 
pothesis ? What is the true state of the case as to the Canon and 
Apocrypha ? How does this enhance the evidence in favour of the 
former ? 



ber of the books wbich it contains with the multi- 
tude which clamoured for admission, in the age suc- 
ceeding that of the Apostles. 

§ 69. Having now determined, in a general 
way, what book is entitled to the name of the ITew 
Testament, and what are the writings which com- 
pose it, we are ready for the next inquiry, as to the 
original language, or what is technically called 
New Testament Philology. That this is in its 
proper place between the Canon and the Text 
(§ 43) is plain, because until we have identified the 
book, we cannot ascertain the language ; and until 
this is done, we cannot think of ascertaining the 
ipsissima verba, which of course have no existence 
even in the most exact translation. A familiar il- 
lustration may be borrowed from the case of one to 
whom a definite number of important papers have 
been solemnly entrusted for a certain purpose. The 
papers, it may be supposed, as well as the receptacle 
which holds them, are all sealed and labelled, and 
may thus be identified, before he opens them. But 
having ascertained that they are all in his posses- 
sion, he proceeds to examine their contents, and, as 
the first step, to discover in what language they 

§ 69. What is the second topic of General Introduction ? Why 
is this its proper place in the arrangement of the topics ? How 
may this be famiUarly illustrated ? 


are written, and wlietlier it is one with whicli lie is 
acquainted ; after which he may consider the par- 
ticular expressions. 

§ 70. If each of the twenty-seven books were writ- 
ten in a language of its own, or several in one and 
several in another, this whole topic would of course 
belong to Special Introduction. But as all the 
books, as far as we can trace them, are in one and 
the same language, what we have to say of it ap- 
plies tb the New Testament collectively, and there- 
fore forms a necessary part of General Introduction. 
(§§ 18, 30, 33.) It is all reducible to four leading 
questions : 1. What was the original language of 
the JS'ew Testament ? 2. Why was it different 
from that of the Old ? 3. Why was Greek selected 
for this purpose ? 4. What kind of Greek is used in 
the New Testament ? The answers to these ques- 
tions will constitute the topics of New Testa- 
ment Philology, as we shall treat it — dwelling 
chiefly on the last, or the history and character of 
the Hellenistic dialect, in which the New Testa- 
ment is written. 

§ 71. The first question (what is the original 

§ 70. Why does this topic necessarily helong to General Intro- 
duction ? To what four questions* may it ^e reduced ? Which of 
these will reauiro most atteutiou ? 



language of the "Nevf Testament ?) may seem super- 
fluous, or answerable in a single syllable ; but this 
has not been always an unanimous response. As 
examples of remarkable dissent from it may here 
be specified the notion of the Jesuit Harduin who, 
in his Commentary on the Kew Testament (1741), 
gravely insisted that all the books were written in 
Latin, except the Epistle to Philemon, which was 
written in Greek, then translated into Latin, and 
then retranslated into Greek. Tlie motive of this 
singular paradox was no doubt to put honour on 
the Latin Ytilgate, as declared to be " authentic " 
by the Council of Trent. A very different motive, 
the desire to escape from exegetical embarrass- 
ments, led Bolten, in his work on the Epistles 
(1800), to maintain that they were dictated by Paul 
in Aramaic, and written down in Greek by his 
amanuensis, whose errors of translation would ac- 
count for most of the existing difficulties. Both 
these opinions are remembered only as curiosities 
of literary history. The questions still raised as to 
one or two books, more particularly Matthew's Gos- 
pel, belong properly to Special Introduction, and 

§ Vl. Why is the first question not superfluous ? What was Har- 
duin's notion ? What was Bolten's ? How are these opinions now 
regarded ? How is the general fact affected by the doubts as to 
one or two books ? 


will there be fully treated. But even as to tliese 
books, it is not disputed that, so far as we can trace 
them, they have always worn a Greek dress, so that 
even if they were originally written in another lan- 
guage, which is not the case, as we shall see below, 
they can scarcely be regarded as exceptions to the 
general statement, that the whole 'New Testament 
is composed in Greek, j^ 

§ 72. The fact suggested by the second question 
(why was the ISTew Testament written in a differ- 
ent language from the Old ?) is not to be regarded 
as a matter of course, since all the antecedent prob- 
abilities were in favour of Hebrew as having been 
already used for the same purpose, and thereby 
specially adapted to it, as well as invested with a 
certain sanctity, over and above the prestige of its 
antiquity and claim to be regarded as the oldest of. 
all extant tongues, if not the primitive language 
of mankind. To refer the adoption of another lan- 
guage in the Christian revelation to the sovereign 
will of God, is not explaining it, but simply a con^ 
fession that it cannot be explained. The question 
is not whether God so willed it, which is absolutely 

§ 72. What is the second question ? Why is it not a matter of 
course ? Why were the antecedent probabilities all in favour of 
Hebrew ? Why is it not explained by a reference to the sovereign 
will of God ? 


certain, but wlietlier he willed it for a purpose 
scrutable bv us. If so, tliougli under no necessity 
of knowing what that purpose is, we are at liberty 
to seek for it, and ascertain it, as an aid in solving 
other questions. 

§ 73. The most satisfactory solution of this ques- 
ton is, that each revelation was conveyed by the 
vehicle best suited to its purpose — the national and 
local revelation in the language of the chosen peo- 
ple — the oecumenical or universal revelation in the 
language of the civilized world. In the age of the 
Old Testament the Hebrew was moreover in itself 
the best adapted to the ends of a divine revelation ; 
but at the close of the four centuries which inter- 
vened between the two, that language had not only 
never spread beyond the people who originally 
spoke it, but had ceased to be vernacular even 
among them ; while the Aramaic dialect which 
superseded it had neither the prestige of great an- 
tiquity, nor special adaptation, nor the sanctity of 
long association, nor remarkable intrinsic qualities 
to recommend it. 

§ 74. It may be objected to this explanation, 

§ is. What is the most satisfactory solution ? What change 
had Hebrew undergone during the interval of four hundred years 
between the Old and New Testament? Why had the Aramaic no 
claim to succeed it ? 

NEW i:estamf.nt litekatuke. 63 

that it makes an invidious distinction between the 
Old and New Testament, as if the latter only were 
designed for permanent and perpetual use. But 
this is a mistake very easily corrected by observing, 
that the difference in question has respect only to 
the primary form of the communication, not to its 
continued use ; just as the form of Paul's epistles 
was determined by their being actually sent as let- 
ters to certain individuals and churches, though de- 
signed from the beginning to be permanently left 
on record for the use of all believers in succeeding 
ages. So, too, the Hebrew Scriptures, though origi- 
nally meant for the instruction of a single race, and, 
therefore, written in a language never used as a ver- 
nacular by any other, were designed from the be- 
ginning to form part of a perpetual and universal 
revelation of the will of God to all mankind 
throughout all ages. 

§ 75. To the third question (why was Greek 
selected as the language of the Christian revela- 
tion ?) there is a twofold answer ; one extrinsic, 
or derived from outward circumstances ; one in- 

§ 74. What objection is there to this explanation ? How may 
it be answered ? What analogy is furnished by the New Testament 
epistles ? 

§ 75. What is the twofold answer to the third question? What 
fs the extrinsic reason ? 


trinsic, or arising from the qualities belonging to 
the language itself. The extrinsic reason is, be- 
cause at the time of the Advent, it was the most 
widely spoken language in the world, and, therefore, 
the best fitted for this purpose, irrespective of its 
character and structure. The intrinsic reason is, 
that it was also the most perfect language in itself, 
and, therefore, doubly suited to become the vehicle 
of such a revelation, especially after it had been in 
use for ages as the language of the oldest version of 
the Hebrew Scriptures. (See below, § 95.) 

§ 76. This preparation of a language for the 
Christian revelation must not be regarded as for- 
tuitous, but providential, being part of an extensive 
preparation for the advent of the Saviour, going on 
for ages among Jews and Gentiles. This has some- 
times been described by saying, that among the 
Jews, God prejDared salvation for man (compare 
John 4, 22), and among the Gentiles, man for salva- 
tion ; both negatively, by experimentally evincing 
the futility and worthlessness of heathenism, and 
exciting the desire of something better, and posi- 

§ 76. How is this connected with the providential preparation 
for the Advent ? How was it prepared among the Jews'? How 
among the Gentiles ? What was the negative preparation among 
the Gentiles? What was the positive preparation in general? 
What was it in particular ? 


tively, by providing vehicles and forms for the 
Christian revelation. The negative process here 
described, may be distinctly traced in the history of 
the most enlightened heathen nations, and espe- 
cially in their condition at or just before the birth of 
Christ. The positive consisted partly in the gen- 
eral intellectual culture of the Greeks and others 
whom they influenced ; partly in the gradual ma- 
turing of the Greek language to be used in the 
!N"ew Testament. 

§ 77. The fourth question as to the original lan- 
guage (in what kind of Greek is the New Testa- 
ment written ?) presupposes the existence of more 
kinds than one, or in other words, implies that the 
language had experienced certain changes, or ap- 
peared in diflerent forms, before it was made use of 
for this purpose. This makes it necessary to con- 
sider the origin and progress of the language, not 
in minute detail, but briefly, both for want of time, 
and because this part of the subject belongs rather 
to a previous stage of education, in which not only 
the language itself, but its history now generally 
occupies a prominent position. All that is neces- 
sary, therefore, is, a brief recapitulation of familiar 

§ 11. What is the fourth question as to the original language ? 
What does it imply or presuppose ? What does this require to 
consider Crst ? Why may and must it be considered briefly ? 


facts, or a rapid recollection of things previously- 

§ 78. In doing this it will be convenient to 
begin with the affinities of Greek and its position 
in the family of languages to which it properly be- 
longs, as determined by Comparative Philology. 
The science designated by this phrase is one en- 
tirely of modern origin, having sprung up chiefly 
within half a century, but with a rapid growth, 
which has brought it to an almost instantaneous 
maturity. One of its marked results is an improve- 
ment in the scientific treatment of the several lan- 
guages subjected to comparison, arising from the 
light which they mutually throw upon each other. 
Another is a gratifying confirmation of the state- 
ments found in Scripture as to the original oneness 
of the race, and of its language. Tliougli all ob- 
scurities are not yet cleared up, this is the acknowl- 
edged tendency of all impartial and intelligent 
discussion and research, not only in Comparative 
Philology, but also in the kindred coeval science of 
Ethnology, or, as it is sometimes called. Ethnog- 
raphy. Tlie way in which Comparative Philology 
contributes to this end is by showing the affinity of 

§ 78. Where is it most convenient to begin this recapitulation ? 
What is Comparative Philology ? What effect has it had upon the 
study of particular languages ? What is its tendency with respect 


dialects apparently the most remote, and long re- 
garded, even by the learned, as wholly and hope- 
lessly heterogeneous. This again is brought about 
by exchanging the old fanciful and superficial ety- 
mologies founded on mere fortuitous resemblances 
of shape and sound, for a scientific and historical 
deduction, governed by fixed laws of permutation 
and analogy, and often leading to conclusions ut- 
terly unlike the premises or data, although ren- 
dered certain by an unbroken series of intermediate 
steps or changes. By this new and interesting 
process, forms of speech, the most dissimilar at 
present, may be traced back to a common origin, 
and thus the way prepared for an ultimate removal 
of tlie only serious obstruction to the identification 
of all known varieties of language, as diverging 
streams from one and the same fountain. 

§ 79. Another fruit of the Comparative Phi- 
lology of modern times, is the division of all culti- 
vated language into two great families or stocks, 
excluding the Chinese and its derivatives, though 
spoken by a third part of the human race, as hav- 

to the authority of Scripture ? What other modern science coin- 
cides with it in this? How does Comparative Philology promote 
this end ? How is this assimilation brought about ? What may be 
expected from the further prosecution of this process ? 

§ 79. To how many families may cultivated languages be now 


ing really no structure, in the ordinary sense of the 
expression, or at least as never yet successfully sub- 
jected to a thorough ]3hilological analysis. With 
this extensive and significant exception, all the cul- 
tivated languages of earth, meaning thereby such 
as have been written long enough to have a litera- 
ture of their own, may be divided into two great 
classes. (I.) The Semitic (or Shemitish\ chiefly 
spoken by the race of Shem, but also called the 
Syro-Arahian^ Hebraic^ and by several other names 
which need not be enumerated here, and (11.) the 
Japhetic^ chiefly spoken by the race of Japhet, but 
more generally known by the comprehensive name 
of Indo-European, or the more specific one of Indo- 
Germanic, which at once suggests its vast exten- 
sion from the Indian to the German Ocean, com- 
prehending all the cultivated dialects of Europe, with 
several belonging to the south and west of Asia — the 
Sanscrit and its numerous derivatives — the Celtic, 
Teutonic, Scandinavian, and Slavonic dialects, — 
and intermediate between these the two classic lan- 
guages of Greece and Kome. The Semitic family 
is far inferior, both in superficial measurement and 

reduced? What is excepted from this classification, and why? 
What is meant by a cultivated language ? What names have been 
given to the first of these great families? What to the second? 
What its extent ? What languages does it include ? What docs 
the other familv include ? 


number of affiliated languages, themost important be- 
ing Hebrew, Clialdee, Syriac, Arabic, and Etliiopic. 

§ 80. Tlie most striking features of tlie Indo- 
European stock, by wliicli it is distinguished from 
the other, are, first, the direction of the writing 
from the left hand to the right ; then, the indis- 
criminate use of consonants and vowels, both as 
alphabetic characters and etymological elements ; 
the less conspicuous position of the verb among the 
parts of speech, or rather of verbal roots, as the 
origin of other words ; the absence of a definite and 
fixed form for these verbal roots, such as the trilite- 
ral [and dissyllabic] ; the exclusion of gender from 
the verb, and its restriction to the noun and pro- 
noun ; the greater variety of temporal and modal 
forms ; the disuse of prominal suffixes ; and an almost 
unlimited fertility, boundless liberty, and freedom 
in all other kinds of composition. It is to the last 
two features — the variety of verbal and of com- 
pound forms — that the most developed and ma- 
tured of the Indo-European tongues owe the flexi- 
bility and richness which distinguish them above 
all others. 

§ 80. "What are the most palpable and striking points of differ- 
ence between these families of languages ? Which of these pecu- 
liarities especially contribute to flexibility and richness ? 


§ 81. Among the errors which have been ex- 
ploded by Comparative Philology is that which 
long prevailed as to the mntnal relation of the two 
great languages of classical antiquity, it being now 
held by the highest philological authorities, not 
only that the Greek is not the mother of the Latin, 
but that it is probably not even an elder sister, as a 
living writer, of great eminence in this department, 
argues from the absence of the article in Latin and 
the smaller number of particles denoting the rela- 
tions properly expressed by cases, both which pecu- 
liarities he looks upon as proofs of a later and more 
complete development of Greek, as we now have 
it.* But however this may be, the two are now 
regarded as collateral derivatives from a common 
stock, holding a central geographical position in 
tliis wide-spread family of languages, between its 
north-western and south-eastern limits, as well as 
in relation to their structure, being almost equi- 
distant from the superabundant richness of the 
Sanscrit stem, and the comparative meagreness of 
some Teutonic branches. 

* See Donaldson's New Cratylus, 2d edition (London, 1859). 

§ 81. What ancient error has Comparative Philology exploded? 
What is now behoved to be the true relation between Greek and 
Latin? What is Donaldson's argument for this conclusion ? How 
much may be considered certain ? What is the relative position of 
these languages, local and structural? 


§ 82. Tlie origin, both local and historical, of 
these important languages is hidden in obscurity ; 
nor can it even be determined whether, or how 
far, they had a common basis in an older language 
ever actually spoken botli in Italy and Greece. 
The two great elements of classic Greek, still com- 
monly assumed, are scarcely known to us except 
by name, and that rather as an immemorial tradi- 
tion than as the result of modern philological an- 
alysis. We only know, and only in this way, that 
the basis of the language was Pelasgic^ and its 
later adventitious element Hellenic ; but the origin 
of these names, with the local habitation of the 
mother tongue, and the date of the supposed amal- 
gamation, are still subjects of conjecture and dis- 
pute, the settlement of which has thus far baffled 
the exertions both of philological and ethnographi- 
cal research. 

§ 83. It is a characteristic circumstance in 
Greek and Roman history, that the palmy period 
of the latter is the period of consolidation under 
one great central power, whether republican or im- 

§ 82. What point is still involved in doubt, as to the origin of 
Greek and Latin ? What is still assumed as to the elements of 
Greek ? How (and how far) are they known to us ? How far are 
they still uncertain ? 

S 83. What is the characteristic difference of the Greek and 


perial in form ; whereas that of the former is the 
period of local separation into petty states, either 
hostile to each other, or at most united in a loose 
confederation. Whatever ground for this distinc- 
tion may be found in the national character of 
these two races, the difference certainly exists, not 
only in their social and political condition, but 
even in their language, and particularly in the fact 
with which we are immediately concerned, that 
Greek, as far back as we now can trace it as a cul- 
tivated tongue, existed, not as one, but under several 
provincial forms', called Dialects. 

§ 84. The origin and relative antiquity of these 
old dialects is so obscure, that even their number is 
a variable quantity, some writers recognizing more, 
some fewer, just as we might hesitate or differ in 
determining how many distinct dialects exist among 
ourselves, and still more in the British isles, where 
such diversities are far more numerous and marked. 
The highest philological authorities, however, seem 
agreed in retaining the old quadruple division, 
only discarding what the earlier writers called the 
Poetical Dialect, as something not dependent upon 

Roman greatness ? How far does it extend to the language ? In 
what form do we first historically know the language ? 

§ 84. What doubt is there as to the old dialects ? What one is 
repudiated by the modern writers? What is the twofold variation 


local usage, but on literary fashion and prevailing 
taste. Omitting this, we may assume, in strict ac- 
cordance with the latest philological research, as 
well as with an older usage, two original or primary 
variations in the language, and two subsequent or 
secondary, probably occasioned by extensive and 
remote migrations of the Greek or Hellenic race. 
The first two are the Doric and Ionic, one distin- 
guished by its strength and harshness, and the 
other by its softer and more musical pronunciation, 
arising in a great degree, though not entirely, from 
a different combination and proportion of the con- 
sonants and vowels. After the settlement of Asia, 
in the proper sense, that is, the western provinces 
of what we now call Asia Minor, by Greek colo- 
nists, each of these ancient dialects received a colo- 
nial modification, the Asiatic counterpart of the 
Doric being the ^olic ; while, on the other hand, 
the name Ionic, like its parent form Ionia, became 
fixed in Asia, and the Grecian branch of the same 
great dialect was called the Attic. 

§ 85. The general difference between these 
Greek and Asiatic dialects was the same as that 

commonly assumed ? How are they related to each other ? What 
were the two primary dialects ? What was their characteristic dif- 
ference ? What were the two secondary dialects ? 

§ 85. How did 'they differ from the others? Were they anv 


between the tribes who used them, the Ionian and 
^olian cultivation tending more to a voluptuous 
softness, the Doric and the Attic to a masculine 
severity. It is also important to observe, that 
these provincial dialects, although originally noth- 
ing more than local variations of the spoken lan- 
guage, became afterwards distinct types of expres- 
sion and of composition, which were more or less 
promiscuously used, without regard to the writer's 
residence or nationality, as specially adapted to cer- 
tain styles and subjects. Thus the Doric dialect 
was used all over Greece in choral, the ^olic in 
lyric, the Ionic in epic composition ; while the 
Attic, though distinguished in every kind of lite- 
rary labor, surpassed all the rest in its inimitable 
prose, which, in the writings of Thucydides, Plato, 
and the Orators, is still the highest model of com- 
bined strength and beauty, the most exquisite sim- 
plicity, and the purest taste. This marked supe- 
riority in that specific form of composition, which 
is more and more required and practised as civili- 
zation marches onward, was at once the cause and 
the effect of the extraordinary galaxy of genius by 
which Athens is immortalized. In other words, it 
was because her language was so perfect, that so 

thing more than local variations in the spoken language? How 
were they used in different kinds of composition? How did the 


many of her writers gained celebrity ; and yet, it 
may be said witli equal trutli, it was because lier 
writers were so liigbly gifted, that the Attic dialect 
attained the highest place by general consent, even 
while the states of Greece still remained aloof and 
independent of each other. 

§ 86. The first great change from this condition, 
political and literary, was occasioned by the Mace- 
donian ascendancy, in both its stages, the first 
nnder Philip of Macedon, the second under his still 
more illustrious son, Alexander the Great. Mace- 
donia, lying on the northern boundary of Greece, 
and reckoned as belonging to it in the widest ap- 
plication of the name, was excluded from its stricter 
definition, and its people treated as barbarians by 
the national Hellenic pride, although the Greek 
descent of Philip and his royal predecessors was 
conceded, either as a subtle flattery, or in extorted 
admiration of his genius. By intrigue and influ- 
ence, as much as by mere military strength, he 
gained an ascendancy in every Grecian state, and 

Attic dialect surpass the rest ? Of what was this both the cause 
and the effect? How early was this superiority acknowledged? 

§ 86. What caused a change in the pohtical and literary state 
of Greece? What was the first stage of the Macedonian ascen- 
dancy ? How were the Macedonians and their rulei'S regarded 
by the Greeks? How did Philip of Macedon gain his ascendancy? 
What was its social and political effect ? What was its effect upon 


was finally acknowledged as the Protector of tlie 
whole, thus uniting the proud independent races, 
for the first time, in one nation, but purchasing this 
unity at the expense of all the local dignities in 
vfhich they gloried. The analogous effect upon the 
language was to fuse its local variations into one 
Koivr) BLoXeKTO'?, of which the Attic was the basis, 
but to which the others all contributed their quota 
both of idioms and vocables. The conquests of 
Alexander carried some knowledge of this common 
dialect to the verge of India, and gave it permanent 
establishment wherever permanent Greek colonies 
were founded, and especially in those Greek king- 
doms which were shared among the Macedonian 
generals, and preserved in a divided form the 
glories of that empire which existed undivided only 
seven years, and of that great conqueror who had 
personally no successor. 

§ 87. Of these kingdoms, the most splendid on 
the whole was that of Egypt, where the Ptolemies 
succeeded one another, as the Pharaohs had of old. 
The importance of this new state was enhanced by 

the language? What was the basis of the koiu^ SiaAe/cros? What 
was the effect of Alexander's conquests ? Where was the Greek 
language introduced temporarily and permanently ? 

§ 87. Which was the most important of these Greek kingdoms 
in the East, and why ? What was the position of Alexandria in the 


that of the commercial mart established by the fore- 
sight and sagacity of Alexander, and distinguished, 
under his own name of Alexandria, for ages as a 
centre not only of commercial but of intellectual 
activity. As usual in all such cases, the activity of 
intercourse in trade, aroused and stimulated mental 
life ; the confluence from all parts of the world in- 
creased it ; Alexandria grew famous for its schools 
and libraries, among which was the greatest of the 
ancient world. Greek philosophy and learning 
here sought patronage or refuge from the decaying 
schools of Greece itself. It was in Alexandria that 
the race of Greek grammarians had its origin, 
whose soulless but invaluable labours first subjected 
the incomparable language to a microscopic criti- 
cism and minute analysis. These causes, in addi^ 
tion to their other manifold effects, could not fail to 
influence the language. It is still common to as- 
sume the existence both of a Macedonian and an 
Alexandrian dialect ; the one produced by the 
Macedonian conquests, both in Greece and Asia, 
the other by the Macedonian reign in Egypt ; though 
the traces of the former consist chiefly of a few de- 
tached words, said to be of Macedonian origin, and 

ancient world ? How was it distinguished in a literary way ? "What 
kind of learning had its origin and seat here? What effect had 
this upon the language ? What was the Macedonian dialect ? What 


tlic latter first assumes a positive and independent 
character when afterwards developed as the Hel- 
lenistic dialect, by causes and in ways which we 
must now describe with some particularity. 

§ 88. The next point to be considered is the 
providential means by which the Jews were brought 
in contact with the changes which have been de- 
scribed as flowing from the Macedonian conquests. 
The Greek kings of Egypt, in addition to their 
patronage of learning, took a lively interest in its 
inhabitants, contending with the Greek kings of 
Syria for the sovereignty of that diminutive but 
most important state, and when possessed of tire 
ascendancy, not only favouring the Jews at home, 
but encouraging their emigration into Egypt, where 
extensive colonies were settled under the first Ptol- 
emies, and a large proportion of the population of 
Alexandria was composed of Jews. This brought 
them into contact with the "Greek civilization, and 
produced a mutual action and reaction between 
Judaism and Heathenism, not without perceptible 
effects upon both systems, or at least on some of 

was the Alexandrian dialect ? In what form was it afterwards de- 
veloped? How must this form be considered? 

§ 88. How were the Jews brought iuto contact with these 
changes? Who contended for the sovereignty of Palestine? What 
was the pohcy of the Ptolemies towards the Jews? What effect 
had this upon Judaism and Heathenism ? What was the origin of 


their adherents. Tliis was the origin of the Sad- 
ducees or lax Jews, who inclined to assimilation 
with the cultivated Gentiles, in opposition to the 
Pharisees or rigid separatists not only in a social 
but a national sense. It also gave rise to that class 
of devont Gentiles whom we find in the 'New Tes- 
tament and elsewhere, treating the religion of the 
Jews with serious respect, without in every case 
embracing it. Another fruit of these relations was 
a further modification of the language, which had 
now become the universal medium both of business 
and of literary intercourse. The idiom or dialect 
which thus arose is called the Hellenistic. 

§ 89. According to the national tradition of the 
Greeks, once discredited as fabulous, but now again 
received as the best authority to which we can get 
access, the name usually given to the whole race (i. 
e. by themselves) was derived from that of Hellen, 
a son of Deucalion (the Noah of the classical my- 
thology) who built a town in Thessaly to which he 
gave the name of ITellas, afterwards extended to 
the whole surrounding region, also called Phtlii- 

the Sadducees ? What was that of the devout Gentiles ? What 
effect had this upon the language ? 

§ 89. Who was Hellen ? What was the primary application of 
the name Hellas ? What were its secondary applications ? Ho\7 
far was the name Hellen extended? 


Otis, or tlie country of tlie Myrmidons ; then still 
further to the whole of Uj)per (or Continental) 
Greece, as distinguished from the Pelopoimesus, or 
to Middle Greece, including parts of both ; and 
finally applied to all countries settled by tlie 
Greeks, including Asia Minor and the part of Italy 
called Magna Gr£ecia, in antithesis to which the 
mother country was sometimes spoken of as Old 
Greece (^ ap^ala eXkd^). By a similar extension, 
the name of the reputed founder was applied to his 
descendants, both in the singular and plural form 
{eXkrjv and eWn^ves:)/'^ with the corresponding ad- 
jective {€W7]vifco<;, comparative eW7]viK(t)T€pos) and 
adverb {iWrjvLKO)^), applied by Herodotus and Xen- 
ophon to the language, especially as purely spoken. 

§ 00. Another derivative of "EXkriv was the 
verb €\Xr]VL^co, meaning to make Greek in any 
sense, as Thucydides applies the passive to a lan- 
guage (eXX7)vi(T6rjvai ttjv ryXctxrcraL), then to be Greek, 
or to imitate the Greeks, in manners, institutions, 
sentiments, but specially in sj)eech or language. 
The word was even used of native Greeks who paid 
particular attention to their diction, so that eWrj' 

* Hesiod nses the form TcaviXkrivis^ which also occurs in a sus- 
pected reading of the lUad. 

§ 90. What adjective and verb come ivQVQ."Y.\Xriv ? What verb ? 


vl^€Lv sometimes means to speak good Greek. But 
a much more common application of the term is to 
foreigners who spoke the language, whether well or 
ill. This imitation of the Greek or assimilation to 
them, both in the wider and the stricter sense, was 
eWrjvLo-fjLo^;, while the person by whom it was prac- 
tised was a eXk'qvL<TTr}<;, This word also had its 
corresponding adjective and adverb (kXkrjvLo-TiKo^ 
and kXkrjVLCTTi).^ In its primary and wide sense, 
therefore, kWr^via-Tr]^ denotes any foreigner who in 
any way followed the Greek fashion, but especially 
who used the language. 

§ 91. As the Jews of the Diaspora in general, 
but more especially the Jews in Egypt, used the 
Greek language not only for colloquial but religious 
purposes as we shall see hereafter, they acquired a 
sort of twofold claim to the name Hellenist which 
in usage soon became apj)ropriated to the Greek — 
as distinguished from the Hebrew, (or the Ara- 
maic) speaking Jews. This specific application of 

* Sec Jotn 19, 20; Acts 21, 3Y, where it simply means hi 
Greek. It is also used by Xenophon -with IwUvai. 

How is it used? What nouns? What secondary adjective and 
adverb ? 

§ 91. Why was the name Hellenist applied particularly to the 
Jews? What was the opposite of Hellenist? How often does 
Hellenist occur in the New Testament ? What docs it evidently 


the term occurs in the New Testament certainly 
once, probably twice, and possibly a third time. 
The undisputed case is Acts 6, 1, where a jealousy 
is said to have arisen in the infant church between 
the Hebrews and the Hellenists, to allay which 
seven deacons were appointed, all of whom have 
Greek names. Another almost equally clear in- 
stance is Acts 9, 29, where Saul is said after his con- 
version and return to Jerusalem, to have disputed 
with the Hellenists, or Greek-speaking Jews, to 
which class he belonged himself, and was therefore 
qualified to carry on the work, though he escaped 
the fate, of Stephen the first martyr. The only 
doubt in this case has respect to the true reading, 
which according to some copies is iWrjvaf;, Greeks, 
i. e. natives or inhabitants of Greece, although the 
latest critics still retain the common reading {eWTj- 
vLo-rds;). A much greater doubt exists as to the 
third case. Acts 11, 20, where the external evidence 
preponderates in favour of eWr}VLo-Td<; and the in- 
ternal in favour of eWrjva^;. In all these instances, 
the English version uses the form Grecians, to 
distinguish these Greek-speaking Jews from Greeks 
{€\\r]va^), which last form frequently occurs, but is 

mean in Acts 6, 1 ? What does it mean in Acts 9, 29 ? What 
doubt as to the reading? What doubt as to 11, 20? How does 
the Enghsh version distinguish Hellenes and Hellenists ? How is 
Hellenes sometimes rendered? How does the Pcshito paraphrase 


sometimes rendered Gentiles (e. g. John 7, 35. 
Kom. 2, 9. 10. 3, 9. 1 Cor. 10, 32. 12, 13). In the 
second of the places above quoted (Acts 9, 29), the 
Peshito (or old Syriac version) paraphrases eWr]- 
VLO-Ta^; as the Jews who knew Greek, and Chrysostom 
explains it as denoting rov^ eWrjVLG-rl ^deyyofjuevovs:). 
This is the sense in which I shall hereafter use the 
terms " Hellenist " and " Hellenistic." 

§ 92. It follows from what has now been said, 
that the Hellenistic dialect or idiom is that form of 
the Greek language in which it was used by Jews, 
and as Alexandria was the point of contact between 
Greek and Jewisli learning, this dialect is com- 
monly regarded as a modification of the Alexan- 
drian before described, arising from a greater or 
less inixture or infusion of a Hebrew element, 
whether derived from the vernacular of Palestine, 
or from the Hebrew Scriptures. The precise ^tent 
to which and way in which this Hebraic or Judaic 
modification of the Greek tongue took place is dis- 
puted, and will present itself again hereafter, for a 
more deliberate consideration. 

Acts 9, 29 ? How does Chrysostom expound it ? How will Hel- 
lenist and Hellenistic be applied hereafter ? 

§ 92. What is meant by the Hellenistic dialect or idiom ? How 
did it differ from the other dialects ? How was the Hebrew modifi- 
cation brouf^ht about ? 


§ 93. Had tliis dialect or idiom been merely 
oral, it would long since have shared the oblivion 
of their national or local variations in a spoken lan- 
guage. But what gives it interest and value now, 
is the fact that books were written in it, for a 
course of ages, and among them books of the high- 
est importance. The aggregate of these books con- 
stitutes objectively, as the knowledge of them does 
subjectively, what is called " Hellenistic Litera- 
ture," a branch of learning now distinctly recog- 
nized in our curriculum, and formally assigned to 
my department. It may be reduced to two great 
heads or classes, the Biblical and 'Non- (or rather 
Extra-) Biblical. A still more convenient distribu- 
tion for our purpose, is the chronological division 
into periods or successive phases of this Hellenistic 
literature, as it still exists and may be traced in 

§ 94. 1. The first of these forms is the Septua- 
gint version of the Old Testament, anterior in date, 
by several centuries, to any other, and to which, as 
we shall see below, the Hellenistic dialect owes its 
distinctive character, if not its existence. 2. At- 

§ 93. What gives permanent importance to this dialect ? What 
is meant by " Hellenistic Literature " ? To what two heads may it 
be reduced? How may it be chronologically divided? 

§ 94. What is the first form or primary depository of Hellenistic 


tached to tlie Septuagint version in most copies, 
whether manuscript or printed, are a number of 
writings, not translated from the Hebrew, but orig- 
inally written in the Hellenistic dialect, and tech- 
nically known as the Old Testament Apocrypha. 
3. Tlie third place in this chronological series of 
Hellenistic writings belongs to the New Testament 
itself. 4. ]^early contemporary, but a little later, 
and forming a distinct class by themselves, are the 
Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus. 5. Belonging 
to the same age, but of Christian origin, though un- 
inspired, are the writings known in history as those 
of the Apostolic Fathers, on the verge of the first 
and second centuries. 6. Within the first half of 
the latter period fall such of the New Testament 
Apocrypha as were originally written in Greek, 
and which may be regarded as the latest samples of 
•the ancient Hellenistic dialect, although it likewise 
forms the basis of the Ecclesiastical Greek, or that 
of the ancient Fathers after the Apostolical, and 
that of the mediaeval or Byzantine idiom, and more 
remotely of the Romaic dialect now actually spoken 
and generally known as modern Greek. But these 
three latest forms of the Greek language lie beyond 
the limits of our present course, and will therefore 

Literature ? What is the second ? What is the third ? What is 
the fourth ? What is the fifth ? What is the sixth ? 


be excluded from the rapid view which I propose 
to give yon of the other six. 

§ 95. The oldest extant specimen or sample of 
the Hellenistic dialect and literature is the Septua- 
gint version — by far the oldest biblical translation 
in existence — so old as to be in some sense an origi- 
nal. Septuagint is a slight abbreviation of the 
Latin Septuaginta^ meaning seventy — corresponding 
to the Greek e^Bo/juTJ/covra — and often represented 
by the Eoman numerals LXX. Of this ancient 
title there are two explanations, both of which 
agree in making seventy a round number for seven- 
ty-two, but one of which refers it to the Jewish 
Sanhedrim, either in Palestine or Egypt, by which 
the version is supposed to have been sanctioned ; 
while the other and more common one explains it 
as the number of translators, handed down by an 
old tradition. This tradition exists in several dif- 
ferent forms, the latter being generally more em- 
bellished than the older. From the close of the 
fourth century to the close of the seventeenth, there 
was a general acquiescence in the tale as told by 
Epiphranius, a learned and orthodox, but credulous 

§ 95. What is the oldest specimen of the Hellenistic dialect and 
literature? What is the meaning of the name Septuagint, and 
what are its equivalents? How many explanations are there of 
this name ? V/hat is the one usually given ? How is the tradition 


and injudicious Father, who describes this version 
as the work of seventy-two men, who were shut up 
by pairs in six-and-thirty cells, and each translated 
all the books without the slightest variation. Two 
hundred years earlier Justin Martyr gives the same 
account, but varies it by mentioning as many cells 
as there were writers. Both these accounts imply 
that the translation was inspired, a fact explicitly 
affirmed by Philo, who says that being filled with 
God (or having God within), they prophesied (or 
spoke by inspiration).* 

§ 96. The contemporary Jewish historian, Jose- 
phus, makes no mention of this circumstance, nor 
of the preternatural agreement of the versions, but 
gives a detailed account of the origin of the Septu- 
agint, with accompanying documents. Tliese are 
all derived however from another source, still ex- 
tant, an epistle to Philocrates, purporting to be 
written by Aristeas, a courtier and friend of Ptol- 
emy Philadelphus — and relating that Demetrius 
Phalereus, the librarian of that monarch, advised 

* ivOovaiu>vT€s Trpo€(p-f]T€vov. Philo de Vit. Mos. 

given by Epiplianius ? How is it given by Justin Martyr ? What 
is Philo's statement? 

§ 96. How does Josephus tell the story ? Upon whose author- 
ity ? Who was Aristeas ? What is his account ? Who advised the 
translation ? What did Aristeas himself advise ? What did the king 


him to complete liis collection of the laws of various 
nations, by adding those of Moses, or the Jews, and 
as these were written in an unknown character and 
language, counselled him to send for an authentic 
copy, and for competent translators from the Holy 
Land itself.^ He accordingly sent two ambassa- 
dors, of whom Aristeas was one, and Andreas, the 
captain of his guard, the other. These went to 
Jerusalem, with letters and presents to the High 
Priest, who sent them back with a copy of the law 
written on parchment in letters of gold, and accom- 
panied by six elders from each tribe, well ac- 
quainted with both languages. After being hos- 
pitably entertained for several days at court, they 
were conducted by Demetrius to an island, sup- 
posed to be that of Pharos, in the harbor of Alex- 
andria, where they executed their task, not singly 
or in pairs, but jointly ; the translation of each 
portion, when agreed upon, being written down in 
Greek by Demetrius himself. When their task 

* Aristeas himself advised liim to conciliate the Jews by ran- 
soming the (100,000) Jewish slaves in Egypt, which he did, by pay- 
ing 20 (Josephus says 120) drachms for each to the soldiers who 
owned them. 

do ? Who were the ambassadors ? What did they take with them ? 
What did they bring back ? How were the seventy received and 
treated? Where did they perform their task? Who was their 
amanuensis ? 


was accomplislied, tliey were sent home loaded 
with gifts and hononrs. / 

§ 97. There are some discrepancies in this ac- 
count — e. g. as to the power by which the Jews 
had been enslaved, whether Persian or Macedonian 
— which, taken in connection with the obvious at- 
tempt to play the Greek, while all the style and 
sentiments are Jewish, have led the modern critics 
first to suspect and then to condemn this writing 
as a forgery — prompted by a wish to give ecclesi- 
astical authority to a translation wdiich might other- 
wise have seemed suspicious to the stricter Jews, as 
having been made in a foreign country, and under 
the auspices of a heathen king. This sceptical 
criticism has perhaps been pushed too far, as there 
is nothing intrinsically improbable in the story it- 
self, which is certainly older than Josej)hus, whether 
written by Aristeas or not. That the version is of 
Egyptian origin, there is internal evidence ; and al- 
though it was certainly in general use among the 
Jews there, this is not at variance with the fact of 
its having been prepared originally under the direc- 

§ 97. What suspicious circumstances are there in this narrative ? 
How is it regarded by the modern critics? What motive is imputed 
to the forgery? In -nhat respect have the critics gone too far? 
What part of the story is entirely credible ? What different pur- 
poses may this version have accomplished? What is the oldest 


tion of the king, and for a political or literary, 
ratlier than a religious, purpose. Tlie oldest undis- 
puted testimony on the subject is that of Aristobu- 
/■^^ , I . lus, a Jewish Aristotelian in the reign of Ptolemy 
Philometor, some fragments of whose writings are 
preserved in those of Clemens Alexandrinus and Eu- 
sebius the historian, in which he says that the whole 
of the law was first translated into Greek under Ptol- 
emy Philadelphus,* which may therefore be con- 
sidered an established fact, and the germ of all the 
subsequent embellishments. 

§ 98. The use of the ambiguous term law in 
these accounts, has raised the question whether it 
is to be taken in its wide sense as denoting the Old 
Testament, or in its strict sense as denoting the 
Pentateuch, or books of Moses. Josephus says ex- 
pressly f that the latter only were translated by 
the seventy ; % but in the prologue to Ecclesiasti- 

* 'H Se oXt] epiirjveia rwu 5ia rod vijxov irdvruv. 
\ Ant. Prol. § 3. 

\ "Et Aristeas et Josephus et omnis schola Judasorum quinquc 
tantum libros Moysis a Ixx. translates asserunt." Hieron. in Ezech. v. 

undisputed testimony on the subject? "Where is it preserved? 
What does it amount to? "What may be considered certain, both 
from external and internal evidence ? 

§ 98. What question as to the extent of the translation? What 
is the Jewish tradition as recorded by Jerome ? "What is the testi- 


cus,* tlie writer speaks of the law, the prophecies, 
and the other Scriptures, as existing in both Ian- . 
giiages. From this it is now commonly inferred, 
that the version was gradually made, having been 
begun under Ptolemy Philadelphus (or his father), 
and completed by the 38th year of Ptolemy Phys- 
con, (B. C. 132).t 

§ 99. Til at the version is the work of different 
hands, if not of different ages, is now very com- 
monly agreed to be established by a marked diver- 
sity, not only of mere style and diction, but of 
ability and skill and knowledge, both of Greek 
and Hebrew. The most valuable portion is the 
Pentateuch, not only as the oldest, but because the 
Egyptian authors or translators were particularly 

* 'O v6fJt.os Kai at'rrpoiprjTuai /cai raXoiira rS>v fiifi\ia>v. 
t 323 Ptolemy Soter (Lagi). 
285 Ptolemy Philadelphus. 
24*7 Ptolemy Euergetes. 
222 Ptolemy Philopator. 
205 Ptolemy Epiphanes. 
181 Ptolemy Philometor. 
170 Ptolemy Physcou. 
117 Ptolemy (Soter) and Cleopatra. 

mony of the son of Sirach ? What inference is usually drawn from 

§ 99. How does the plurality of authors appear? Which is the 
most valuable part, and why ? Which part of the Pentateuch is 


qualified for that part of the task. Li the Penta- 
teuch itself some distinguish as the best part the 
book of Leviticus, and in the rest the book of 
Proverbs, while the lowest place is unanimously 
given to the book of Daniel, which is so defective 
or absurd, that another version (that of Theoclo- 
tion) was early substituted for it in the copies of the 
Septuagint version. 

§ 100. At a very early period, perhaps soon 
after it appeared, this version became current 
among the Hellenistic Jews, not only in Egypt, 
but in other countries, and, according to tradition, 
in the Holy Land itself. It was even introduced 
into the Synagogues, but probably not to the exclu- 
sion of the Hebrew text, which is still used by the 
Jews throughout the world in worship, though ac- 
companied by vernacular translations for the bene- 
fit of those who are ignorant of Hebrew. A sim- 
ilar purpose was answered by the Septuagint in 
ancient times, when Greek was the language of the 
civilized world. It thus obtained extensive circu- 
lation, perhaps even among Gentiles, and was higlily 

best done? Which is the best of the other books? Which is the 
worst ? 

§ 100. How was the LXX. regarded by the Jews before the ad- 
vent ? How extensive was its use ? Why did it not exchide the 
Hebrew text? What changed the feeling of the Jews respecting 


valued by the Jews tliemselves, until the virulence 
of anti-Cliristian controversy led tliem to denounce 
it as an inexact translation, and fall back upon the 
Hebrew original, or on more accurate Greek ver- 
sions, many of wliicli sprang into existence in the 
first and second centuries of the Christian era. 
Three of these are known to us by name, those of 
Aquila. Symmachus, and Theodotian, and three 
others, which are nameless, but distinguished as the 
Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh, in the great work of Ori- 
gen,,the history of which, as well as of these ver- 
sions, ,as such considered, belongs to Old Testament 
Litpature. All that need be stated here is that all 
\j)TCse versioiis have ifoe^Ay^lost, and now exist in 
1 fragments only, wi1ii[i/the exception of the oldest, 
^ which h^srbe^4 preserved froni the same fate by its 
ecclesiasUcai employment, first in the Synagogue 
and then in the Greek or Oriental Church, where it 
till) maintains its ground, along with the original 
New Testament, and is the only one of these Greek 
i.j^ •^versions which, demands attention in the present 

i^c'^irse./^ V^xi^^ 
l\ ' 

\J § 101. The violent revulsion in the feelings of 

the Jews with respect to this time-honoured version 

it ? What did tliey use instead of it ? How many other Greek 
versions are known to have existed? Why were they not pre- 
served ? 



may be gathered from the foolish and extravagant 
expressions of the Talmud, e. g. that darkness over- 
spread the earth when it was finished, and that the 
sin of making it was equal to the sin of making the 
golden calf. A like depreciation, though from 
other motives, and expressed in other forms, has 
resulted in our own day by reaction from the oppo- 
site extreme of idolatrous attachment which pre- 
vailed throughout the Christian world for ages, an 
extreme which still exists, though now compara- 
tively rare. 

§ 102. As a specimen of these extreme views 
may be cited the position occupied by Grinfield, 
one of the most learned Hellenistic scholars of the 
day, in his " Apology for the Septuagint " (London, 
1850), namely, that the Septuagint version is in- 
spired and precisely equal in canonical authority to 
the Hebrew text, or rather superior to it, on ac- 
count of its affinity to the New Testament, arising 
from community of language, dialect, and diction, 
and from its being directly quoted in the New Tes- 
tament itself. If such a theory could be estab- 
lished, it would revolutionize the whole work of 
criticism and interpretation by requiring them to 

§ 101. What extravagant expressions are used in the Talmud? 
What extreme opinions have existed since? 
^ 102. What is Grinfield's doctrine ? 


recognize a version and original alike and equally 
infallible, but in a multitude of cases quite irrecon- 

§ 103. The arguments by which it is attempted 
to establish this extraordinary doctrine are in sub- 
stance tliese : 1. The antecedent probability that 0^^^\^ 
with the change of dispensations from a local to ^xii^^^"^ 
universal church, there would be a corresponding 
change in the language even of the older revela- 
tion, to adapt it to a new and more extensive use. 
2. The fact that the New Testament was written in • r 

the very language of this ancient version, not only Wn Wv 
in Greek, but in the very kind of Greek, of which 
it furnishes the oldest sample.* 3. The derivation vft— 
of the New Testament terminology from this source.f ^ 
4. The actual quotation from it, even when it dif- ouft/" q 
fers from the Hebrew.:]: 5. The fact (alleged with- x^J^ 
out proof) that our Saviour himself used this ver- ' 
sion from his childhood. 6. The fact (also asserted ^t, ^ 
without proof) that German and American neolog^ ^!^^ 
is owing to the neglect of Hellenistic learning, and- "' 
exclusive study of the Hebrew Sciptures. 

§ 104. In answer to these arguments it may be 

* See below, § 109. f See below, § 110. % See below, § 108. 
§ 103, How is it supported? 


stated first, that they either prove too little or too 
much, i. e. either that an uninspired version was 
sufficient for all necessary purposes, or else that the 
Hebrew text is wholly useless, being superseded by 
a version equally inspired, and therefore really a 
new revelation, as maintained in theory by several 
of the Fathers, and in practice by the Greek 
Church to the present day. In the next place, the 
original and version cannot be equall}^ inspired, be- 
cause if they were they woi^ld agree, and if it be 
alleged that either is corrupt, which is it, and why 
should it have been suflfered to become so ? All 
the arguments employed to prove the point go to 
show that the Hebrew text of the Old Testament is 
either sufficient or superfluous. It would be far 
easier to maintain, with some degree of plausibility, 
this last alternative, viz., that the Septuagint is not 
a version, but a new original, designed to super- 
sede the old forever. 

§ 105. Between these hurtful and extravagant 
extremes, there is a golden mean in which the 
learned, after many oscillations of opinion, have 
been gradually settling, a position equally removed 
from the error of the Christian Fathers, who re- 

§ 104. How may these arguments be answered ? 

§ 105. What is the true mean between these opposite extremes? 


garded tlie Septuagint version as a second revela- 
tion, by wliicli the first had been legitimately su- 
perseded, and from that of the contemporary Jews, 
who, not content with rejecting its imanthorized 
pretensions to take precedence of the Hebrew text, 
repudiated and denounced it as an impious abomi- 
nation. This conclusion naturally prompts the 
question, how shall it be reduced to practice ? — or, 
what is the use to be legitimately made of the Sep- 
tuagint version ? 

§ 106. The legitimate use of. the Septuagint is 
twofold, in relation to the Old and Xew Testament. 
Tliis is not a mere conventional distinction, but a 
radical and total difference, to show which it may 
be observed still more particularly, that the Old 
Testament use of this version is itself also twofold. 
In the first place, it is an important aid in deter- 
mining the text of the Old Testament [though often 
misapplied in this way], by showing how these old 
translators read it. In the next place, it affords 
assistance in determining the sense, by showing 
how these old translators understood it. In other 
w^ords, it is, when properly employed, a help both 
in Criticism and Interpretation. 

§ lOG. What is the twofold use of the Septuagint ? What is its 
twofold Old Testament use? 


§ lOT. ITow both these uses of the Septuagint 
'l^ersion — namely, the Critical and Exegetical — are 
wholly inapplicable to the ISTew Testament, which 
came into existence afterwards, and with whose 
text and meaning this old version can have no con- 
nection except indirectly, in a w^ay wholly different 
from that in which it may be made to bear upon. 
the Hebrew Scriptures. But, although not in the 
same sense or the same form, the Septuagint ver- 
sion is of no less value, possibly of greater, to the 
student of the New than of the Old Testament — 
and that in reference to three particulars which we 
shall specify. 

§ 108. In the first place, the New Testament 
abounds in quotations from the Old, which are 
sometimes of the most important kind, such as 
prophecies fulfilled, or historical events explained, 
or general truths enforced by authoritative repeti- 
tion. These quotations, which occupy a larger 
space than careless readers may imagine, are some- 
times made directly from the Hebrew by original 
translation, but more frequently borrow^ed from the 
Septuagint version, as the one in common use, with 

§ 107. Why arc these uses inapplicable to the New Testament' 
How many uses has it with respect to the New Testament ? 
§ 108. What is its use with respect to the quotations? 


or without modification. This brings that version 
into close connection with the Christian revehition, 
as the sonrce of some of its most striking passages. 

§ 109. But in addition to direct quotation, for- 
mal transfer of whole sentences or phrases from one 
part of Scripture to the other, tliere is a less promi- 
nent, but still more intimate, relation of the two, 
arising from community of language and identity, 
of dialect. The basis of the Christian or ISTew Tes- 
tament idiom lies in the Septuagint version, and 
can never be elucidated fully without reference to 
it. In other w^ords, it was the same peculiar form 
of Greek, which had its origin, or has its oldest ex- 
tant exhibition, in this ancient version, that was 
afterwards adopted by the Holy Spirit, as the 
vehicle or costume of the new revelation. 

§ 110. Lastly, although really included in the 
previous specification, it maybe distinctly stated, on 
account of its important bearing both on interpreta- 
tion and theology, that a large part of the religious 
terminology or phraseology which characterises the 
IN'ew Testament is really of older date, and may be 
traced to this old version of the Hebrew Scriptures, 

§ 109. What is its philological relation to the New Testament? 
§ 110. What is its technical use? How may this use be ex- 
emplified ? 


whicli had made many of these terms familiar to 
the Jews, long before they were incorporated into 
the language of the new or Christian revelation. 
As marked examples, serving to verify this general 
statement, may be mentioned the important terms, 

§ 111. These important uses of the Septuagint 
version with respect to the New Testament, to- 
gether with its value as the oldest form of Hellen- 
istic composition, entitle it not only to a place in 
snch a course as this, but to more assiduous atten- 
tion as a part of ministerial training than it com- 
monly receives. The best mode of supplying this 
deficiency, would be by connecting the study of the 
Septuagint version with the thorough philological 
analysis of the Hebrew Bible, so as to compare the 
two by one simultaneous (or immediately succes- 
sive) process, an addition to our j)resent theological 
curriculum devoutly to be wished. 

§ 112. The grammatical study of the Septuagint 
version is facilitated now by cheap and accurate 
editions of the text (such as those of Tischendorf, 
Yan Ess, and Yalpy), and by the reference to Sep- 
tuagint usage in the best Greek lexicons in common 

§ 111. What is the best mode of studying the Septuagint? 
§ 112. What are the best helps for snch a study? 


use, both general and special (siicli as Licldell & 
Scott's, Robinson's, &c.) ; while the means of more 
specific and minute investigation are afforded by 
the older works of Schleusner, Trommius, and 
others. [An efi'ort to promote this study, on the 
plan above suggested, will be made, if practicable, 
in connection with the present course.] 

§ 113. Next to the Septuagint or old Greek 
version of the Hebrew Scriptures, stands, in point 
of age and philological importance, as a source of 
illustration to the Greek of the ISTew Testament, as 
well as a distinguishable form or phrase of Hel- 
lenistic Literature, a series or collection of an- 
cient writings, known as the Old Testament ApoG- 
rypha/^ The argument against the canonicity of 
these books, belongs entirely to Old Testament 
Literature, or Introduction, and will be treated 
under that head, with as much particularity as cir- 
cumstances may allow. In the meantime it may be as- 
sumed, as the conclusion of that argument, that all the 
books in question were uncanonical and uninspired. 

§ 114. But though entirely without authority or 

* See § 4'7. 

§ 113. What is the second group of writings belonging to the 
Hellenistic Literature? What part of the subject must be here 
omitted as belonging elsewhere? What will be assumed ad interim ? 


use, as belonging to tlie Rule of Faith, these writ- 
ings are entitled to attention from their great an- 
tiquity, their Jewish origin, and their Greek (or 
rather Hellenistic) dress. The salutary prejudice 
among most Protestants against them, as unjustly 
claiming or assigned a place in the inspired canon, 
should not be pushed so far as to prevent our mak- 
ing a legitimate and prolitable use of them, as 
curious and ancient compositions, which contain 
some false docti'ines, more false facts, and still more 
of false taste, but are, nevertheless, interesting ; 
first, as sources or materials of history ; then, as 
illustrative of Jewish manners and opinions in the 
interval between the Old aixl IN'ew Testaments ; and 
odly, as throwing light upon the language of the 
latter ; which last is the only reason for assigning 
them a place in any systematic course, however 
meagre and imperfect, of New Testament Philology. 

§ 115. The fact just stated will require us to de- 
fine with more precision the class of writings here 
referred to, some of which, if taken in the widest 
sense of the generic or collective term (Old Testa- 

§ 114. Why are these books entitled to attention? What ex- 
treme or prejudice is to be avoided ? What are the three uses to 
be made of these books? What especially connects them with 
our present subject? 

§ 115. Which of the Old Testament Apocrypha have no such 


ment Apocrypha), have no coimectioii with our 
present subject, such as the 4th book of Esdras, 
and the 5th book of Maccabees (so called), which 
are not now known to exist in Greek at all, what- 
ever may have been their original language. Of 
the much larger number which remain, some are 
certainly or probably mere Greek translations of 
Hebrew or Aramaic originals ; but this does not 
impair their philological value as specimens of 
Jewish Greek or Hellenistic composition, any more 
than in the case of the Septuagint itself. For this 
reason, and because, with the exception of a single 
book (Ecclesiasticus), which is avowedly translated 
from the Hebrew, the evidence of this fact is exclu- 
sively internal and conjectural, it will be best to 
treat them all alike, merely observing, once for all, 
that besides the book just mentioned, those re- 
garded by the latest critics as most probably trans- 
lated from some other language, are the books of 
Tobit, Judith, and 1 Maccabees, together with the 
brief composition called the Prayer of Manasseh ; 
whereas all the other books of Maccabees and Es- 
dras (which exist in Greek), the book of "Wisdom, 
the epistle of Jeremy, and the additions to Esther 

connection ? Into what classes may they be divided as to origin ? 
Why is this distinction unimportant for our present purpose ? Hovr 
is the line drawn by the latest critics? 


and Daniel, are now commonl j regarded as original 
Greek compositions. The book of Barucli is re- 
ferred by some to either class, the first half having 
indications of translation, which the latter half does 
not exhibit. 

§ 116. As the term Apocrypha is somewhat vague, 
and the number of books comprehended under it 
not perfectly determinate, it may be useful for our 
2)resent purpose to define it by restricting it to those 
hooks which are found in the Septuagint version^ 
hut not in the original Hebrew. Plow they gained 
admission to the Greek translation, where we find 
them intermingled with the canonical books, can 
only be conjectured. The most probable oj^inion is 
that the Greek or Hellenistic canon of the Old Tes- 
tament, having no such protection as the Masora, 
or critical tradition of the Hebrew text, and the 
ofiicial or professional inspection of the Scribes, it 
was not always easy to determine whether books 
upon religious subjects, which were current among 
foreign or Greek-speaking Jews, were canonical or 
not ; and as no authority existed out of Palestine to 
settle such disputes, some corruption became un- 

§ 116. How may the Old Testament Apocrypha be conveniently 
defined ? How did they gain admission to the Septuagint version ? 


§117. Although we are directly concerned only 
with the language of these books, and not with 
their intrinsic value, either literary or religious, it 
may not be amiss to observe, before proceeding 
further, that this value is as far as possible from 
being uniform or equal. On the contrary, the 
most remote extremes may here be said to meet, of 
eloquence and drivel, of the highest human wisdom 
and the silliest of nonsense. While the story of 
Susanna, and of Bel and the Dragon, are at best in- 
genious fables in the style of Scripture, and the 
larger books of Tobit and Judith mere domestic or 
historical romances, and the additions to Esther, 
with the books of Esdras, mere gratuitous additions 
to the corresponding parts of Scripture, the two 
books of Maccabees, and more especially the first, 
are almost the only sources of our knowledge as to 
the period of the Maccabees or princes. On the 
other hand, with many indications of the doctrinal 
corruption of the Jews, the moral books of the 
Apocryphas abound in noble sentiments and true 
philosophy immeasurably higher than the heathen 
standard, and often rismg to a high degree of elo- 
quence, not only in the Greek, but in the English 
version, made at the same time with that of the in- 

§ IIY. How do the books differ among themselves? Which are 
the best books, historic and moral ? 


spired Scriptures, and containing many words and 
phrases not to be found there, though all belonging 
to this well of English pure and undefiled. The 
two books, called Ecclesiasticus and "Wisdom, are 
the most successful imitations of the style of Solo- 
mon that have ever been attempted, and perhaps 
approach as nearly to Ecclesiastes and the Book 
of Proverbs as any uninspired writings could at any 
rate, much nearer than would be attainable by 
even the most gifted modern writer. One of these 
aprocryphal, but ancient compositions, is retained, 
not only by the Church of Rome, but by the 
Church of England in her daily service, as the 
Bencdicite^ or Canticle, to be said or sung in place 
of the Te Deum^ at the option of the minister. 



§ 118. As to the use of these books in reference 
to the l^ew Testament it is of course not intended 
to advise the expenditure of time and labor upon 
such aprocryphal productions in the case of ordi- 
nary ministers, but only to indicate a source from 
which the best writers now derive important illus- 

§ 118. How are these books to be used by the student of th© 

New Testament ? 


trations of tlie language and external form of the 
l^ew Testament. At the same time there is a cer- 
tain amount of general knowledge with respect to 
the Apocrypha which may be reckoned almost in- 
dispensable to every educated minister and critical 
student of the Scriptures. Of this I have given a 
mere outline which may be filled up by private 
reading as you find desirable hereafter.* 

§ 119. The next group of Hellenistic writings 
includes those of Philo and Josephus, put together 
as belonging to no other class, and as living nearly 
at the same time, namely, Philo contemporary with 
our Saviour, and Josephus belonging to the next 
generation. Although both were Jews, yet emi- 
nent Greek writers, and, therefore, in the strictest 
sense Hellenists,! there could scarcely be two writ- 
ers of the same class more unlike in their particular 
characteristics. Tliey were not even residents or 
natives of the same country, and were wholly un- 
like in their literary tastes and predilections, the 
one connecting Jewish learning and religion with 

* For a full description of the Apocryphal books, with the latest 
opinions in relation to them, see the 2d volume of Home's Intro- 
duction (new edition.) 

§ 119. What is the next group of Hellenistic writings? Why 
are Philo and Josephus classed together ? How do they differ from 
each other ? 


the Greek pliilosoj)hy, the other with Greek his% 
tory. Tlie one has been called the Jewish Plato, 
the other might be called the Jewish Xenophon. 

§ 120. Of Philo's life we know but little beyond 
the fact that he was born and lived in Alexandria, 
where he enjoyed a high reputation both for elo- 
quence and learning, and was sent, about the year 
42, to represent the Jews of Alexandria at Kome, 
in opposition to a heathen deputation led by Apion, 
and commissioned to accuse the Jews before Calig- 
ula, who treated Philo and his cause with great 
severity, refusing even to let him speak, and even 
threatening his life. Later legends or traditions 
of the Church represent him as a convert to Chris- 
tianity, and a friend of St. Peter whom he met at 
Pome, but as afterwards apostatizing. More au- 
thentic, no doubt, are the statements with re- 
pect to his high standing by Josephus and Eu- 

§ 121. Philo's learning seems to have been 
wholly Greek, and chiefly philosophical. He is 
commonly supposed to have had no knowledge of 
the Hebrew language as he always quotes the Sep- 

§ 120. What is known of Philo's history? What later legends 
with respect to him ? 

S 121. What was the character of Philo's learning? What was 


tuagint version, and sometimes betrays ignorance 
of the original. He is not considered an authority 
even with respect to Jewish usages and doctrines. 
The great aim of his life was to find the principles 
of Plato in the books of Moses, and thus to recon- 
cile his philosophical convictions with his heredi- 
tary faith in the Old Testament. This could be 
accomplished, even in appearance, only by the 
most unnatural interpretations {aWrjyopLat) of the 
Cosmogony and Primeval History, as well as that 
of the Patriarchs, together with the Life and Laws 
of Moses. These are accordingly the chief topics of 
his extant works, consisting of detached pieces, or 
perhaps of one continued work divided by his 
copyists or editors. The abstruse and uninterest- 
ing character thus given to his writings has caused 
them to be little read or known in later times, the 
principal exception being those in which he gives 
historical information, as to the Therapeutse and 
Essenes and as to his own embassy to Pome. On 
the other hand, his forced allegorical interpreta- 
tions are supposed to have exerted an imfavour- 
able influence, not only on the early heretics, but 

his favourite object? How did he endeavour to accomplish it? 
What parts of Scripture did he thus allegorize? What is the form 
of his extant writings? Why are they little read ? Which of them 
are most read ? 


also on tlic great Alexandrian school of Catholic 

§ 122. From what has now been said it will be 
seen that Philo's writings are of more importance as 
a specimen and part of Hellenistic Literatnre, than 
from any practical assistance which they yield in 
the criticism or interpretation of the !N'ew Testa- 
ment. That they are not wholly useless, even for 
this end, however, may be gathered from the long 
disputes resj)ecting the Platonic Logos, as it aj)- 
pears in Philo's writings, and the influence exerted 
by it on the Christian terminology ; as well as from 
occasional elucidations of particular expressions, 
where the classical and Septuagint usage fail us, 
and the only authority for certain senses is derived 
from Philo.* 

§ 123. That we know far more of Josephus is 
owing partly to the popularity of his writings, 
partly to the gossiping and egotistical autobiogra- 
phy found among them. The main points of his 

* See for example the verb /coTOTTTpf^w, as explained by Hodge 
on 2 Cor. 3, 18 (p. 76.) 

§ 122. What is the chief value of Philo's writings? Whp,t do 
they illustrate in theology ? How do they throw light on the Greek 
of the New Testament? 

§ 123. Why do we know more of Josephus^ What are the 


history, as there recorded, are his high extraction 
(priestly on his father's side, and royal on his 
mother's) ; his great advantages of education in the 
Holy Land, and his nnusnal precocity in learning ; 
his deliberate comparison of the three great sects 
or parties, and his final preference of the Pharisees ; 
his embassy to Kome in behalf of certain priests 
whom Felix had sent there for trial ; his success in 
this commission, and kind treatment by Poppsea, 
wife of Nero ; his shipwreck in the Adriatic, with a 
company of six hundred ; his advancement to im- 
portant public posts at home, both civil and mili- 
tary ; his settled opposition to the Zealots, and their 
consequent distrust of him ; his masterly defence of 
Jotapata against the army of Yespasian for seven, 
weeks ; the loss of the place by treason, and his 
favourable treatment by Yespasian and Titus ; his 
retm-n with them to Rome, and then again to Pal- 
estine, and ocular witness of the Jewish war until 
the downfall and destruction of Jerusalem. The 
History of this War is his earliest production, and 
appeared about A. D. 75, in seven books, two of 

salient points of his biography? What were his advantages of 
birth, education, and position? What points of contact with the 
history of Paul ? What public stations did he fill ? What was his 
relation to the Zealots ? What was his chief military achievement? 
How was he treated by the Roman conquerors ? How did he be- 
come a witness of the Jewish war ? To which of his works did it 


whicli contain a rapid sketch of Jewish history, 
fed from Antiochus Epiphanes to the appearance 

of Yespasian in the Holy Land ; the other five, a 
most minnte description of the war that followed, 
and of which Josephus was not only an eye-witness, 
but a magna pars. 

§ 124. Eighteen years later (A. D. 93), he 
brought out his "^ Ap')(ai6Ko^ia lovSaifcr), promised in 
his first work, and containing (in twenty books) 
an elaborate paraphrase of the Old Testament His- 
tory, with occasional deviations and additions, per- 
. ,5 haps founded on a national tradition, or derived 
/J*- J—- / from authentic sources, but in many cases, no 
] doubt, merely conjectural or fanciful. After the 
^close of the Old Testament, the history has more of 
an original and independent character, although it 
follows the books of Maccabees so far as they go. 
The period handled in the first books of the Jewish 
"War is more particularly treated here, down to the 

furnisli a subject and occasion ? When did this work appear ? How 
is it divided? What is the subject of the two first books? What 
is the subject of the rest ? What gives it great authority ? 

§ 124. What was his other great work? What is the meaning 
of the title ? When did it appear ? How is it divided ? What is 
the first and larger part ? What is its relation to the Old Testament 
history ? What is probably the source of his variations and addi- 
tions? How are they to be received? What is the value of the 
later part? What older history does it follow ? What is common 
to both these great works of Josephus ? 


time of Gessius Florus, whose severities occasioned 
the great outbreak. 

§ 125. A third w^ork of Josephiis, not to be con- 
founded with the second, from the similarity of the-; 
title, is his Two Books against Apion, concerning 
the antiquity of the Jews as a nation, in which he 
vindicates the truth of sacred history, and the doc- 
trines of the true religion, as he understood them, 
against heathen charges and objections. This work 
is valuable chiefly for the knowledge which it gives 
us of more ancient writings long since perished, 
such as the dynasties of Manetho. 

§ 126. Besides the clear though incidental tes- 
timony which Josephus .bears to the existence and 
the character of Christ and John the Baptist, he is 
almost our sole dependence for the last years of the 
Jewish state, and often useful as a commentator on 
the earlier history. His credit as a historian has 
fluctuated greatly. The contemporary Jews con- 
sidered him a traitor to their cause, and accused 
him of falsifying history. This led their Christian 
opponents to the opposite extreme of overweening 

§ 126. What third work of Josephus is still extant? What is 
its design ? What is its chief value ? 

§ 126. What testimony does Josephus bear to Christ and his 
forerunner ? What are the different opinions on the passage which 


praise and confidence. Between these two extremes 
the opinion of the learned world has oscillated ever 
since. Some German writers do not hesitate to 
prefer his authority to that of the New Testament. 
Others argue from his flattery of Yespasian and 
Agrippa, that he cannot be relied upon. The pres- 
ent tendency, as in the case of Herodotus and other 
ancient writers, is to a more moderate and just appre- 
ciation of Josephus as a highly qualified and gen- 
erally trustworthy witness, although not free from 
the common lot of weakness and corruj)tion. 

§ 127. Tlie Jewish War was written, as we learn 
from himself, in the language of his country, and 
translated into Greek for the use of Gentile readers. 
As he makes no such statement with respect to the 
Antiquities, we may suppose that the interval of 
eighteen years, which he chiefly spent at Kome, 
enabled him to use Greek in the first instance. He 
affects Attic elegance in composition, but occasion- 
ally shows his Hellenistic origin. Tlie waitings of 
Josephus are among the most popular of ancient 
works. They and Plutarch's lives are constantly 
reprinted in cheap editions, and circulate even 

relates to Christ ? How may the historical uses of his writings be 
summed up ? Why has his credit fluctuated ? How is it at present ? 
§ 127. In what language did Josephus write ? How far are hia 
writings known to English readers ? 

NEW TESTAM]':NT literatuke. 115 

among uneducated readers. Wliiston's rude but 
faithful version is witliin the reacli of all who read 
at all, both in the homeliest and in more attractive 

§ 128. The s i s ih group 'of Hellenistic writings 
(reckoning the New Testament itself as one) com- 
prises what are called the Apostolic Fathers on the 
verge of the first and second centuries. The name 
of Apostolic Fathers has been given to those unin- 
spired writers who were disci]3les, or at least con- 
temporaries of the Apostles. There are seven usu- 
ally reckoned, though the authenticity of several is 
still disputed. A full view of this subject belongs 
to the ancient period of Church History. Only so 
much of it will here be given as may be needed to 
complete our outline sketch of Hellenistic Lite- 

§ 129. The first place in the catalogue is com- 
monly assigned to Clement of Rome (or Clemens 
Romanus), represented by tradition as one of the 
earliest bishops of that church, and supposed to be 

§ 128. What is the sixth group of Hellenistic writings? What 
is meant by Apostolical Fathers ? How many are usually reckoned ? 
Where does this history properly belong ? How much of it will 
here be given ? 

§ 129. To whom is the first place commonly assigned? Where 


the person named by Paul in his epistle to the 
Philippians (4, 3), as one of his fellow-labourers. 
An epistle of this Clement to the Chnreh at Corinth 
was not only well known to the ancients, but actu- 
ally read in public worship, but when this was 
discontinued, perhaps on the final settlement of the 
Canon, the epistle was lost sight of until re-discov- 
ered in the seventeenth cojatury, as forming part of 
the contents of the famous Codex Alexandrinus, of 
which some account will be given in another place. 
It is an earnest exhortation to humility and con- 
cord, modelled upon Paul's epistles, but w^ithout 
much original or independent value. The same 
manuscript contains a portion of another composi- 
tion under the name of Clement, commonly called 
his second epistle, but more correctly described as 
a homily or discourse, and of very doubtful genu- 
ineness, as it is not mentioned by the ancient 
writers, though it may be of the same age, and 
available in illustration of the later Hellenistic 
dialect. Other writings, once ascribed to Clement, 

is he supposed to be named in the New Testament ? What work of 
his is mentioned by the ancient writers ? How was it then esteem- 
ed ? What is its later history ? What are its contents ? What is 
its character ? What other writing is ascribed to Clement ? Why 
is its genuineness doubtful ? How may it be used, whether genuine 
or not ? Wliat later writings have been falsely ascribed to the same 
person? Where does their history belong? 


such as the Clementina, the Apostolical Canons, 
Apostolical Constitutions, and a few decretal briefs 
or letters, are undoubtedly of later date, and will 
be here left out of view entirely, as belonging to 
the ecclesiastical history and literature of succeed- 
ing centuries. 

§ 130. Under the name of Barncibas there is ex- 
tant an epistle which was certainly known to Clem- 
ent of Alexandria, and which many still regard as 
the production of the Barnabas so often mentioned 
in the Acts of the Apostles and in Paul's epistles ; 
while others infer from its allegorical interpreta- 
tions of Scripture, and the disrespect with which it 
seems to treat the institutions of the old economy, 
that it is of a later date, and either a forgery (or 
pious fraud), or possibly the composition of some 
other Barnabas, erroneously confounded with the 
primitive missionary or apostle. Even Eusebius 
and Jerome regard it as apocryphal, i. e., not be- 
longing to the Canon. 

§ 131. Another name occurring in the JSTew 
Testament, and also as the author of an extant 
writing, is that of Hermas {Hermes)^ named by i^^ov^ 

§ 130. What writing is ascribed to Barnabas? What are the 
opinions as to its author ? What are the supposed indications of 
later date ? How do Eusebius and Jerome regard it ? 


Paul in liis epistle to the Koijians (16, 14), and in 
the title of a book called the Shepherd^ which we 
find referred to, as an ancient composition, by Ori- 
gen, in the third centnry. It consists of three 
parts, the first of which contains four Yisions, the 
second twelve Mandates, and the third ten Simili- 
tudes, the whole communicated by an angel in the 
form of a shepherd. Tliis book, though fanciful 
and mystical, was highly esteemed in the ancient 
church, being often read in worship, and regarded 
as inspired by such men as Origen and Irenseus. 
The Muratori fragment before mentioned, repre- 
sents it as the work of another Ilermas, the brother 
of Pius, who was bishop of Rome about the middle 
of the second century. The intrinsic value of the 
work is small, and even its literary interest for us 
not great, as it now exists only in the form of a 
very ancient Latin version. 

§ 132. The same thing is partially true of an 
undisputed writing of the same class, an epistle of 

§ 131. "Where is Hennas named in the New Testament? What 
work bears the same name ? How far back may it be traced ? How 
is it divided ? What are the contents of the several books ? What 
is the character of the whole ? How was it regarded by the an- 
cients? How by Origen and Irenceus? To whom is it ascribed 
in the Muratori fragment ? What is its literary and religious value ? 
Why is it comparatively unavailable for our immediate purpose? 


Polyearp, bishop of Smyrna, a disciple of St. John, 
and an eminent martyr under Marcus Anrelins (A. 
D. 1G8). This epistle is addressed to the Philip- 
pians, and is valuable chiefly on account of its cita- 
tions or references to the l^ew Testament. Of the 
Greek original there are only fragments extant, but 
a complete Latin version. 

§ 133. Ostensibly much earlier in date, but of 
far more doubtful authenticity, are the famous epis- 
tles oi Ignatius^ bishop of ^inyrnft , and martyr, under 
Trajan, which have been a subject of dispute for ages. 
The maximum number is fifteen, but a majority of 
these, five in Greek, and three in Latin, are now 
unanimously looked upon as spurious. The re- 
maining seven exist in two forms (or recensions), a 
longer or a shorter, each of which is claimed to be 
the original by many learned writers. Within a 
few years a still shorter form in Syriac has been 
recently discovered, and is by some regarded as the 
original form, by others as a mere abridgment or 
mutilation of it, while a third class reject all three 

§ 132. Who was Polyearp? When and how did he die? What 
extant writing bears his name? What is its chief value? 

§ 133. Who was Ignatius? When and how did he die ? What 
extant writings bear his name ? What is the whole number of 
epistles? How many are now universally rejected? In what two 
Greek forms do the rest appear? What third form has been re- 
coutly discovered? What different estimates are formed of it? What 


recensions as alike supposititious. The epistles are 
remarkable for earnest opposition to certain forms of 
heresy, and zealous assertion of the Divinity of Christ, 
but chiefly for the zeal with which they urge the 
claims of the episcopate, and which has given them 
importance in connection with exciting questions of 
church-government. "Whether written by Ignatius 
or not, their language is essentially the Greek of 
the ISTew Testament, and therefore Hellenistic. 

, § 134. Papias, bishop of Ilierapolis (and martyr), a^'^ ^ 

' like Polycarp, is said to have been a disciple of St. -' " ^*t 

John, and a diligent collector of the sayings and do- .,' 
ings of our Lord, as preserved by oral tradition. His 
book (XoyL(ov Kvpca/ccov i^yjyrjcns:) exists only in frag- 
ments, preserved by Irengeus and Eusebius. The lat- 
ter describes him as a man of little mind and a srross 
Chiliast, which error was extensively promoted by 
his writings. 

§ 135. With these Apostolical Fathers, com- 
monly so-called, is usually classed the anonymous 
r-K^-tfp writer of the Epistle to Diognetus, once ascribed to 

are the characteristics of the seven Greek epistles? "What has 
given them great interest in modern times ? What is their philolog- 
ical character ? 

§ 134. Who was Papias? What book did he write? In what 
form has it been preserved? How does Eusebius describe him? 
What form of error did he help to propagate ? 


Justin Martyr because found among his works, but 
now regarded as of earlier date, and by one wlio 
describes himself as airoa-Tokwv yevofj^evo^; /iaS7jTij<;. 
It is an eloquent defence of Christianity against the ob- 
jections of an intelligent heathen friend, and is much 
more elegant in style than most Hellenistic writings. 

§ 136. l^ot only as a specimen of Hellenistic 
literature, but as a connecting link between the 
Apostolical and later Christian writings, these 
works are entitled to attention on the part of min- 
isters and others who are interested in the early 
church, though only few may be called to spend 
much time upon them. They have been translated 
into English more than once, the best known ver- 
sion being by an archbishop of Canterbury in the 
early part of the last century (Dr. Wake), wlio 
was disposed, however, to exaggerate their value. 
Among the editions of the original, there is a beauti- 
ful and cheap one in a single volume, edited by Hefele, 
a Eoman Catholic professor of high standing.* 

* Tubingen, 184'7 (3d edition). 

§ 135. What anonymous work belongs to the same class? To 
whom was it formerly ascribed, and why? How does the writer 
describe himself? What is the subject of the epistle ? What is 
the character of its language ? 

§ 136. Why are these works entitled to attention? Where do 
they exist in English ? What is the most convenient edition of the 
original ? 



§ 137. The last group of writings that can be 
regarded as belonging to the Hellenistic class, even 
in the widest sense of the expression, are the Nev/ 
Testament Apocrypha, a heterogeneous mass of for- 
geries or pseudepigrapha, which sprang up, with a 
rank growth, chiefly in the second century,* in- 
tended partly to maintain and propagate heretical 
opinions ; partly to glorify the true religion by the 
unlawful means of pious frauds, but chiefly to fill 
up the supposed deficiencies and chasms in the 
canonical books of the E"ew Testament. Of these 
writings none are strictly doctrinal in substance, 
and only one or two epistolary in form, such as the 
epistle to the Laodiceans, supposed to be referred to 
in Col. 4, 16, and a third epistle to the Corinthians, 
supposed to be referred to in 1 Cor. 5, 9 ; to say 
nothing of the pretended correspondence between 
Paul and Seneca, or that between our Lord himself 
and Abgarus, king of Edessa. Some of these writ- 
ings are pretended prophecies, ascribed to heathen 

* Epiphanius mentions thousands of Gnostic Apocrypha, and 
Irenseus found, among the Valentinians alone, inerrabilis muUitudo 
apocri/pkorum et perperam scripturarum. 

§ 137. What is the last group of Hellenistic writings? What do 
Irenreus and Epiphanius say as to their number? When do they 
most abound? What were their various designs ? Are any of them 
doctrinal? Which are epistolary in form? Which are prophetic? 
What apocryphal apocalypses arc there ? 


seers (as tlie Sibylline books, in Homeric hexame- 
ters), or to real cliaracters in sacred history, such as 
the Book of Enoch, the Testament of the Twelve 
Patriarchs, the Ascension of Isaiah, all which con- 
tain express predictions of the Saviour and the 
Christian Church.^ 

§ 138. But most of these Apocrypha are histo- 
ries, intended to supply the omissions of the Gospels 
or the Acts. Some, no longer in existence, but 
referred to by the ancient w^riters, such as the Gos- 
pel of the Hebrews, that of the Egyptians, that of 
Peter, that of Marcion, seem to have been mere 
corruptions of the canonical four gospels, made 
for the use of heretical sects. Others, still extant, 
and more properly denoted by the name Apocry- 
pha, do not purport to be complete histories oi 
Christ, but only supplements relating chiefly to his 
childhood and his passion. Of the former class, the 
oldest and the least extravagant is that called the 
Protevangelium of James the Less, designed to glo- 

* There are also spurious apocalypses under the names of Peter, 
Paul, Stephen, Thomas, and even John himself, all of which appear 
to have been more or less absurd imitations of the genuine Apoca- 

§ 138. To what class do the most belong? What were the Gos- 
pels of the Hebrews, the Egyptians, Peter, Marcion, &c. ? What 
parts of fho Gospel History do the extant Apoci'ypha pretend to 


rify tlie Yirgin Mary, not only as the Mother of 
our Lord, but by relating her whole history. An- 
other of the same general character is the Gospel of 
the N"ativity of Mary, purporting to be written by 
Matthew and translated by Jerome. A third is 
the history of Joachim and Anna, the nativity of 
Mary, and the infancy of Christ, chiefly occupied 
with miracles wrought by him in the flight to Egypt. 
A fourth is the history of Joseph the Carpenter, 
which dwells chiefly on the circumstances of his 
death, of which we have no account in the New 
Testament. Far more absurd than these is the 
Gospel of the Saviour's infancy, containing a multi- 
tude of silly and unmeaning miracles. Still worse 
is the Gospel of Thomas, which pretends to give the 
life of Christ, from his twelfth to his sixteenth year. 
The character of these books is evinced by their at- 
tempting to supply those omissions which espe- 
cially illustrate the veracity and wisdom of the true 
evangelists, and in a way as destitute of taste and 
common sense as of religious spirit and historical 

give ? "What is the Protevangclium of James ? What is the Gospel 
of the Nativity of Mary ? The history of Joachim and Anna ? The 
history of Joseph the Carpenter? What is the Gospel of the 
Saviour's Infancy? The Gospel of Thomas? What is the charac- 
teristic difference between these and the canonical gospels? 


§ 139. The other class of apocryphal gospels 
professes to complete the closing part of our Lord's 
history, by furnishing additional details as to his 
passion. Tlie Gospel of Xicodemus undertakes to 
give a formal record of the proceedings before 
Pilate ; an account of two of the resuscitated saints 
referred to by Matthew, 27, 52, and described as sons 
of Simeon ; and a description of our Lord's descent 
into hell. The Acts of Pilate is a name borne by 
three distinct works, only one of which is extant. 
The first was very ancient, being mentioned by 
Justin Martyr and TertuUian, and contained a re- 
port made by Pilate to Tiberius ; a communication 
of the latter to the Senate, proposing to place Christ 
among the gods-; and a letter of Tiberius to his 
mother. The second Acts of Pilate were of heathen 
origin, containing blasphemous perversions of the 
history as given in the Gospels. The third, still 
extant, like tlie first, though far posterior in date, 
purports to be a statement made by Pilate to Tibe- 
rius of the miracles, death, and resurrection of the 
Saviour. To these may be added an account of 
Pilate's punishment, and an epistle of Lentulus to 
the Roman Senate, containing a description of 

§ 139. What is the other class of apocryphal gospels? What 
is the Gospel of Nicodemus ? How many books have been entitled 
Acts of Pilate? What did the first contain? What was the 

126 NEW testa:ment liteeatuee. 

Christ's personal appearance."^ Tlie epistle of Len- 
tulus also originated in the middle ages, and seve- 
ral of tlic others are but little older, while a few of 
those first mentioned approach very nearly to the 
time of the apostles, and a large proportion are 
most probably not later than the second centnry, 
which may be regarded as tlie most j^i'olific period 
of this supposititious Jitjrature. 

§ 140. It is worthy of remark that in this whole 
collection or farrago, there is not one book, how- 
ever small, which approaches in literary or reli- 
gious value to the better books of the Old Testa- 
ment Apocrypha. Indeed they may all be de- 
scribed as intrinsically worthless, and indebted for 
whatever adventitious value they possess to their 
indirect bearing on the genuine New Testament. 
Their use in this respect is threefold. 1. In the 

* There were many apocryphal lives of the Apostles current in 
the third and fourth centuries, chiefly of Gnostic origin and ten- 
dency. The fullest collection (that of Tischendorf ) contains thir- 
teen, of which seven have been recently discovered. The latest in 
date is the Historia Certaminis Apostolorum, which, though con- 
taining older materials, is probably as late as the ninth century. 

second? What is the one now extant? What other writings of 
the same class ? What Apocryphal Acts are there ? 

§ 140. How do these books compare with the Old Testament 
Apocrypha? What is thoir intrinsic worth ? What is their adven- 


first place, tliej illustratCj by a glaring contrast, 
tlie perfection of the Scriptures, in comparison with 
writers of the same race and religion, and in some 
cases almost of the same age. Even the Apostol- 
ical Fathers answer the same purpose of exhibiting 
the difference between inspired and miinspired men 
of the same general character and class ; but the 
contrast is vastly more instructive as presented in 
these obvions imitations and professed improve- 
ments on the sacred record. 

§ Ittl. In the next place, they illustrate the dis-' 
cretion, care, and even critical skill, with which the 
ancient chnrcli preserved the sacred Canon and as- 
serted its exclusive claims against so many, and 
such impndent, competitors. Not that the present 
Canon is, as some allege, a gradual selection made, 
as taste and judgment were improved, from a pro- 
miscuous mass originally equal in their claims and 
estimation — which would leave us no alternative 
but that of making all inspired or none — but be- 
cause these wretched imitations, all posterior in 
date to the Canonical Scriptures, by their intrinsic 

titious value ? How do they enhance that of the Canonical Scrip- 
tures? Why more so than the Apostolic Fathers? 

§ 141. "What bearing have they on the question of the Canon? 
What is the false view of their original relation to it ? To what 
dangerous conclusion does it lead ? What is their true relation to 
it ? How do they corroborate the external testimony in its favour ? 


meanness or absurdity, confirm the judgment of tlic 
ancients wliicli excludes tliem from the Canon, and 
corroborate the external evidence in favour of the 
twenty-seven books which now compose it. 

§ 142. In the last place, these Apocrypha, in- 
trinsically worthless as they are, possess a certain 
literary interest, as samples of the language and 
the dialect employed in the ISTew Testament. But 
this, which is their only claim to notice here, has 
reference of course only to such books as now exist 
in Greek, whether as originals or versions. Some, 
which were written in that language, are now ex- 
tant only in translations, e. g. the Ascension of 
Isaiah, in Ethiopic ; the Epistle to the Laodiceans, 
in Latin ; the third to the Corinthians, in Ar- 
menian ; the Historia Certaminis Apostolorum, in 
a Latin version of a Greek version of a Hebrew 
original ; the History of Joseph, in an Arabic 
translation from the Coptic ; the l!^ativity of Mary, 
in a Latin translation from the Greek ; the Gospel 
of the Infancy of Christ, in an Arabic translation 
from the Syriac, &c. Some— e. g. the History of 
Joachim and Anna, the Acta Pilati, as now extant, 
&c. — seem to be Latin originals, while only a few, 

§ 142. What is their philological use ? To which of them is this 
restricted ? IIow differ as to language ? Which of them do not 


but tliose the oldest, and in other respects the most 
important — such as the Protevangelimn of James, ^^.^^jUu 
the Gospel of Tliomas, and of Nicodemiis, the Ana- "«*^ 
baticon of Paul, the Testament of the Twelve Pa- 
triarchs, and the Sibylline Oracles — appear to have 
existed always in a Greek form. It is only with 
these, therefore, that we are concerned, as affording 
illustration to the Greek of the ITew Testament, 
and constituting the last class of writings which 
can be considered as belonging, even in the widest 
sense of the expression, to the field of Hellenistic 
Literature. [Besides more general and costly col- 
lections of the 'New Testament Apocrypha, Tischen- 
dorf has published critical editions of the spu- 
rious Acts and Gospels, each in an elegant octavo 

§ 143. Having now surveyed the Hellenistic 
Literature in its outlines and its principal divisions, 
w^e return to our main theme, the Greek of the 
]^ew Testament, and to the question, what kind ot 
Greek it is ? Before considering it for ourselves, 

exist in Greek at all? Which are Latin originals? Which are 
Greek originals ? Where are the New Testament Apocrypha col- 
lected ? 

§ 143. What is the question now before us? What historical 
inquiry still remains ? How far back must it bo carried ? What 
was the state of learning in the middle ages ? 


it will be well to glance at tlie history of opinion 
with respect to it, involving that of a most curious 
and protracted controversy, the results of which 
are still perceptible in this important field of sacred 
learning. To make this narrative intelligible, it 
will be necessary to begin as far back as the Eefor- 
mation — or rather in the period of darkness which 
preceded it, and during which ancient learning, as 
well biblical as classical, was banished from the 
Church by the universal prevalence of scholastic 
dialectics and metaphysical theology. 

§ 144. The great religious revolution, which we 
call the Eeformation of the sixteenth century, was 
preceded and promoted by an intellectual or lite- 
rary revolution, known in history as the Eevival of 
Letters, i. e. an awakened interest in ancient, and 
especially in Greek and Latin, learning. A mighty 
impulse was imparted to this movement by the 
conquest of Constantinople by the Turks, and the 
downfall of the Eastern Empire (A. D. 1453), which 
scattered educated Greeks all over Western Europe, 
and especially through Italy, who thus became the 
teachers of the western nations, and by exciting an 
enthusiastic zeal for the Greek classics, produced 

§ 144. What is meant by the Revival of Letters ? What great 
political event hastened it? How? 


indirectly an analogous effect in favour of Latin 
and even Hebrew studies. 

§ 145. The Revival of Letters, altliougli provi- 
dentially conducive to the greater Eeformation 
which ensued, was not itself a religious movement. 
Some of its leaders, especially in Italy, were open 
infidels, and some affected to desire the restoration 
of the classical mythology. Even Popes and Car- 
dinals could talk and write about the gods as fami- 
liarly as any ancient heathen. And some, who 
did not go so far, still sought the revival of letters 
for its own sake, whence the whole class took the 
name of humanists^ or devotees of Literc^ Ilicona- 
niores, as distinguished from the barbarous scholas- 
tics, or illiterate priests and monks of the same 
period, some of whom are said to have denounced 
the Hebrew Bible and Greek Testament as recent 
and heretical inventions. 

§ 146. Some of the Humanists, especially in 
Germany and Holland, from previous habit or 
ecclesiastical position, gave particular attention to 
the Biblical part of ancient learning ; a few, such 
as Caprio or Reuchlin, to the Hebrew Bible, and a 

§ 145. Was the Revival of Letters a, religious movement ? 
What was the religious ppirit of some of its leaders ? Who were 
the Humanists ? 


greater number to the Greek Testament, editing 
the text, translating, annotating, with the great ad- 
vantage of familiar acquaintance with the Greek 
and Latin classics. The most eminent of this 
class was Erasmus, the most elegant of modern 
Latin writers, a devoted admirer of the Greek clas- 
sics, to w^hom the world is indebted for excellent 
translations and editions of the Fathers, for the 
earliest series of Greek Testaments, on which the 
common text is founded, and for a paraj)hrasc of 
the New Testament still unequalled in that kind of 

§ 147. But Erasmus, while contributing in this 
way to the Reformation, was a Humanist at heart, 
devoted more to learning than religion, and meas- 
uring even the Scriptures by a classical and heathen 
standard. It is not surprising, therefore, that with 
all his devotion to New Testament criticism and in- 
terpretation, he could speak of a " sermo apostolo- 
rum, non salum impolitus et inconditus, verum 
etiam imperfectus et perturb atis, aliquoties plane 
soloecissans," and that later winters, far less compe- 

§ 146. Who were the Biblical Humanists ? Who was the most 
eminent among them ? How did he contribute to the reform ? 

§ 14Y. What were his real motives ? What was his highest 
standard ? How does he describe the style of the "New Testament ? 
How was this idea carried out by others ? 


tent to judge, and less entitled to be heard, spoke 
in still more exaggerated terms of the solecisms and 
barbarisms of the sacred writers, arising from their 
ignorance of classic Greek, and from their Jewish 

§ 148. Far more moderate and just was the 
judgment of two other eminent Greek scholars of 
the sixteenth century, Theodore Beza and Henry 
Stephens, also connected with the history of the 
text of the New Testament. Tlie former, in wi'it- 
ing on the gift of tongues, admits the Hebraisms of 
the sacred writers, but regards them as beauties 
(gemmas) and as more expressive of the truth than 
any other forms of speech could be. The latter, in 
the preface to his edition of 1576, gives the same 
decision, and exclaims against those " qui in his 
scripturis inculta omnia et horrida esse putant." 
But, notwithstanding these authorities, the super- 
cilious judgment of Erasmus still continued to be 
echoed by a series of inferior writers. 

§ 149. This continued through the sixteenth 
century, and the first quarter of the seventeenth, 
but then a violent reaction took place, marked by 

§ 148. What was the testimony of Theodore Beza and Henry 
Stephens ? How was it opposed by others ? 

§ 149. How long did this opposition last? What reaction fol- 


the appearance of Sebastian Pfoclien's Diatribe de 
lingua3 Graecse Novum Testamentum puritate (Am- 
sterdam, 1629), followed by other writers upon both 
sides, two of the ablest being Heinsius for, and 
Gataker against, the Greek of the 'New Testament ; 
while Olearius and Leusden held the middle ground, 
that although it had many Plebrew idioms, and a 
general Hebrew modification, it was still Greek. 
The controversy lasted a whole century in the Re- 
formed Church, and then began afresh in the Lu- 
theran, where it continued many years. 

§ 150. The extreme grounds taken by the He- 
braists and Purists, as these parties called them- 
selves, were equally untenable ; the one maintain- 
ing that the Greek of the New Testament was no 
Greek at all, but a barbarous Jewish jargon ; while 
the other held that it was pure and elegant accord- 
ing to the highest classical standard. Both pro- 
ceeded also on fallacious principles ; the Hebraists 
assuming that the presence of strange idioms and 
of a local tinge could destroy the identity of the 

lowed ? What may be regarded as the opening of the strife ? 
Who followed on both sides ? What middle ground was taken, and 
by whom ? How long did the controversy last, and where ? 

§ 150. What were the parties called ? What were their extreme 
grounds ? What was the false assumption of the Hebraists ? What 
was that of the Purists? Why was bad Greek "not derogatory to 


language ; tlie Pnrists that it was derogatory to the 
Scriptures to admit that they contained bad Greek. 
Tliis was only true uj)on the supposition that by 
" bad " was meant a language not adapted to an- 
sw^er its great purpose of expressing thought and 
conveying truth, but not if it merely meant the 
violation of some conventional factitious standard ; 
just as a house would be too had for a church, if 
men could neither see nor hear nor obtain shelter 
in it, but not if it were only bad in the sesthetic 
sense of not being Gothic, with pointed arches and 
painted windows. These extremes conduced to the 
ultimate triumph of the middle ground already 
mentioned, and which was finally expressed in Er- 
nesti's dictum, that the Greek of the New Testa- 
ment is composed of a classical and Hebrew ele- 
ment, and that they are only to be pitied who 
maintain that it is all good Greek [that is, accord- 
ing to the Attic standard], 

§ 151. One incidental good resulting from this 
long and apparently pedantic quarrel, was the vast 
accumulation of real or pretended Hebraisms on the 
one side, and of classical parallels upon the other, 
which could only be collected in the course of 

the Scriptures"? In what case would it be so? What is the real 
case ? IIow may this be illustrated ? Which opinion ultimately 
triumphed ? What was Ernesti's dictum ? 


many years and by a mnltitnde of hands, and 
wliicli have since afforded the materials of many 
valuable works, such as Lambert Bos on the Greek 
Ellipsis ; various illustrations from the usage of 
particular Greek writers by Raphelius, Kypke, 
Schoetgen, Yalckenaer, Krebs and others ; and the 
later lexicons and grammars, some of which will be 
particularly mentioned in another place. (See be- 
low, § 162). 

§ 152. Since the days of Ernesti the old school 
of Purists has been quite extinct, and that of ex- 
treme Hebraists nominally also ; but there has not 
been wanting a strong tendency, especially in writ- 
ers of a lower rank, to multiply such idioms un- 
duly, and to seek them where some other explana- 
tion is sufficient and more natural. The great 
reformer of this last abuse is George Benedict 
Winer, the chief glory of whose life is the success 
with which he has defined and held possession of 
the true mean between all extremes, rejecting 
equally unfounded claims to classical correctness and 
gratuitous assumptions of exotic idioms, where the 

§ 151. "What incidental good arose from this controversy? 
What important works have thus been brought into existence ? 

§ 152. What has been the state of the question since Ernesti ? 
What abuse has still been practised ? Who reformed it? 


form of speech is really piir^ Gre*k, or common to 
all cultivated languages. 

§ 153. It is important to observe that the merit 
of Winer did not lie in the discovery or demonstra- 
tion of any new principle, bnt simply in apjDlying, 
with consummate skill, the one already fixed as the 
result of the investigations and discussions of the 
two preceding centuries, reducing the number of 
alleged Hebrew idioms on one hand, and on the 
other reaffirming some which the Purists had de- 
nied. This process, from its very nature, can be 
only an approximate one, as men of equal learning 
and capacity may still difier as to the existence of 
a foreign idiom in a given case, and no man's judg- 
ment can be absolutely binding upon others as to 
all such cases, though undoubtedly correct in most, 
esj)ecially when uttered by a writer of such philo- 
logical precision, logical intellect, severe taste, and 
superior tact, as all acknowledge to have met in 

§ 154. Another fact of some importance in defin- 
ing his position, is, that while he fully recognized 
the language of the ISTew Testament as genuine or 

§ 153. What was and was not Winer's real merit? Why could 
not his work be absolutely finished? What were his qualifications 
for it ? 


real Greek, the ideiititj «f wlaicla. (5©Yild not be viti- 
ated by its pervading Jewish tinge or Hebrew 
idioms, especially when these had been reduced at 
least to probable dimensions ; he still denied to it 
the name of a Greek dialect, and gave it the generic 
one of Idiom (Sprachidiom), by which he seems to 
mean the aggregate of insulated and detached de- 
partures from the standard of a strictly correct 
usage, having no organic unity or common charac- 
ter, arising from the action of like causes, as in the 
case of local or provincial dialects, like those of 
ancient Greece. And yet the germ of this last 
theorv is found in Winer's own o-reat work, but 
only as it were in passing, and w^itliout a due effect 
upon his practice. The full development of this 
idea in its bearings upon exegesis, was reserved for 
younger and less practised hands. 

§ 155. To H. J. Thiersch is commonly assigned 

. the praise of having first broached, or more prob- 

ii*jC .^^^y matured, the now prevailing notion of the 

'''^fvA^reek of the New Testament, as a co-ordinate and 

' * ' independent dialect, determined in its origin and 

character by causes quite analogous to those which 

§ 154. What did Winer still deny as to the Greek of the New 
Testament? What is the difference between idiom and dialect? 
Where is the germ of the modern -doctrine to be found ? 

§ 155. Who first developed it ? What is the new theory ? 


brought into existence the old dialects of Greece it- 
self, and equally productive in both cases of a sub- 
stantive, organic oneness, as remote as possible 
from simple aggregation of peculiar idioms, whether 
few or many. 

§ 156. This, though it may not seem so at first 
sight, is a decided step in advance of the old doc- 
trine, even as exhibited by Winer, and of great im- 
portance in its bearing on the critical and learned 
study of the Christian Scriptures. It is one thing 
to regard their confessed peculiarities even as inno- 
cent or unavoidable departures from the standard 
of correct Greek usage, and quite another thing 
both in itself and in its influence upon the student, 
to regard the same peculiarities as part and parcel 
of a definite local and provincial dialect, as truly 
living and as truly Greek as the Attic or Ionic. 
The most admirable thoughts expressed in broken 
or exotic English, may command our intellectual 
respect and moral reverence, but cannot possibly 
excite our literary or aesthetic admiration, and al- 
though this is not essential to the highest ends of 
language, it materially lessens its enjoyment by the 

§ 156. Why is this an advance even upon Winer's doctrine? 
State the difference between them ? How. may this be illustrated 
from our own language ? How may the illustrations be applied ? 


reader, in proportion to his native taste or cultiva- 
tion. So in the case before ns, the most firm be- 
liever in the inspiration of these writings, may be 
pardoned for pernsing them with less zest, of a lite- 
rary kind at least, wdien he believes them to be 
written in genuine but bad Greek, even in the 
lower sense of this expression, than when he is 
permitted to regard them as invaluable samples of 
a dialect as noble, in its way, as Attic or Ionic. 

§ 15T. I say as noble in its way, because it 
would of course be preposterous to claim for it the 
qualities described as Attic purity, Ionic suavity, 
or Doric strength ; for these are to be measured by 
a standard of their own, which is esentially conven- 
tional and artificial, because resting on a variable 
taste and usage. But in reference to the highest 
end of language, to convey thought and reveal 
truth, this despised patois, as some have deemed it, 
may be just as perfect as the Greek of Plato ; 
while in reference to the truths revealed, they are 
immeasurably higher ; and this grandeur of the 
thoughts conveyed cannot fail to dignify and sub- 
limate the vehicle itself. ISTo language, even the 

§ 157. In what sense must the Hellenistic be inferior to the 
Attic and other ancient dialects? In what sense may it be supe- 
rior ? How may this be illustrated by analogy ? 


most meagre and inelegant, can be snccessfully 
employed for tlie expression of the highest truths, 
without being in itself ennobled. If an ordinary 
missionary, wdio translates into the jargon of some 
African or Indian tribe, the sublimest doctrines of 
the true faith, thereby changes its whole character, 
how could such an one as Paul, in the power of his 
logic and the fervour of his eloquence, controlled 
and prompted by his inspiration, fail to bring even 
Attic Greek still nearer to perfection, at least as the 
expression of those glorious truths, which neither 
Plato nor Demosthenes, if suddenly apprised of 
them, could possibly have uttered. 

§ 158. We may safely rest then in the paradox- 
ical but just conclusion of some recent German 
writers, both philologists and church-historians, 
that the Greek of the [N'ew Testament may claim 
not only a co-ordinate position with the old Greek 
dialects, as an organic form of the same language, 
but a place still higher, when considered as the 
dress, the channel, or the vehicle of saving truth. 
At the same time we may question or repudiate the 
undue refinements of the same school in attempting 
to discriminate the shifting preponderance of the 

§ 158. "What is the conclusion of the latest German -writers ? 
With what caution must it bo roccived ? 


classical and Hellenistic elements, not only in the 
cliiFerent books, but in the same books when the 
tone or subject changes.* 

§ 159. It is this noble dialect, of Greek cxtvac- 
tion, but of Christian birth, the history of which we 
have been thus far tracing, and the main peculiari- 
ties of which we must now philologically analyze. 
These peculiarities fall into two great classes, the 
Lexicographical, relating to the sense of words, and 
the Grammatical, relating to their formal changes 
and syntactical construction. In investigating both 
it is the part of wisdom both to save time and facil- 
itate the process by resorting to those writers who 
present with most authority and clearness the re- 
sults of the great controversy which has been de- 
scribed, and the gigantic labours which grew out of 
it. From the earlier and more minute attention 
paid at first to lexicography, these helps are more 
abundant with respect to this department than to 
that of grammar. 

* This caveat is necessary even with respect to the admirable 
chapter on the subject in Schaff' s History of the ApostoHc Church 
(German ed. § 134, English ed. § 153). 

§ 159. How are we now to investigate this dialect? How may 
its peculiarities be classified? How may we best conduct the in- 
vestigation ? In which department are the helps more numerous, 
and why? 


§ 160. Leaving wholly out of view tlie many 
works of older date, w^liicli have now been super- 
seded and almost forgotten, I may mention as the 
first direct attempt to gather np the fruits of the 
great controversy, Schleusner^s Lexicon in N. T. / 
originally published in 1792, soon after the solution 
of the long vexed question, and in a fourth edition, 
1819, during which period, of nearly thirty years, 
it was the standard and authoritative work, though 
more remarkable for crude and undigested learning 
than for scientific method or exact philology. Su- 
perior in both, as well as in the richness of its clas- 
sical citations, was the Clams N, T. PJiilologica 
of Wahl^ the first edition of which synchronizes 
with the last of Schleusner (1819), while a third 
appeared as late as 1843. But long before this 
there arose a new lexicographer, BretscJmeider^ 
whose Lexicon Manuale in JN', T. (first edition, 
1824 ; third edition, 1840), performed the same 
work as to Hellenistic writers which had been per- 
formed by Walil as to the classics. Tlie Clams 
N. T. PJiilologica of Wilhe (1841), is simply an 
improvement upon both these in philological com- 

§ 160. What may be entirel)'' omitted in enumerating the helps? 
What was the first lexicon which presented the results of the great 
controversy ? What was its influence ? What were its defects ? 
What was the peculiar merit of Wahl ? What of Bretschneider? 


pleteness, but without an^ very novel features of 
its own. All tliese were neologists or rationalists, 
more or less decided. Soon after the appearance 
of Wahl's first edition, it was translated into Eng- 
lish by Dr. Edward Kobinson, now of 'New York, 
then of Andover (1825), who, ten years later, pub- 
lished a lexicon under his own name (1835). What 
he had done for Wahl, Dr. S. T. Bloomfield did for 
him, i. e. he edited Robinson's lexicon in London 
(1837), and a few years after brought out one of his 
own (184:0), the latest edition of which (that I have 
seen) appeared in 184:5 ; that of Eobinson in 1850. 
None of these books should be allowed to supersede 
the general Greek lexicon in study ; first, because 
the latter gives a wider view of classical usage ; 
and secondly, because the former exercise too much 
authority in exposition, although less suspected 
than avowed interpreters. 

§ 161. Into the scale against these many lexi- 
cons, I throw a single grammar, the Graimnatih 
des I^eiitestamentichen Sjprachidioms of Winer (first 
edition, 1822 ; sixth edition, 1855), which, for a 
full third of a century, a whole generation of 

What is the character of Wilkes' Clavis ? What was the religious 
position of the men ? What was the origin of Robinson's lexicon ? 
What was that of Bloomfield's ? 

§ lAl. What has been the one standard Greek for the last 


human life, lias been unanimously recognized in 
Germany, and more slowly in other countries, as 
the standard and authoritative exposition of the 
theory which has been described already as the 
final product of the Hebraist and Purist contro- 
versy. Besides an English version of the first edi- 
tion by Professors Stuart and Pobinson, and a 
"New Testament grammar of the former, based on 
"Winer's, but intended to answer the purpose of a 
general Greek grammar, the original work was 
translated in this country about twenty years ago, 
but was found to be so hastily and incorrectly exe- 
cuted, that its use has long been discontinued. A 
new translation by Edward Masson, M. A., " for- 
merly professor in the University of Athens," has 
appeared this year in England, and simultaneously 
in Philadelphia. Tliis translation is far superior to 
the other, and as nearly perfect as is necessary for 
our purpose. 

§ 162. Out of Winer's grammar, some years 
after its appearance, Professor Stuart framed an 
elementary Greek grammar, intended to embrace 
the valuable substance of the former, but without 
original or independent value. In 1842 appeared 

third of a century ? When was it first translated ? What became 
of this translation ? Who has recently translated it ? Where has 
it been republished? 


in England a Treatise on New Testament Gram- 
mar, by Thomas Sheldon Green, an accomplished 
classical scholar and teacher, not claiming to be a 
complete system, but full of profound grammatical 
philosophy and nice discrimination, illustrated by 
a wide and copious reading of the classics, and al- 
though wholly independent of Winer (of whose ex- 
istence it betrays no knowledge), constantly tend- 
ing to the same conclusions, and sometimes going 
further in the same direction. 



§ 1. The most important preliminaries to this 
stndy may be conveniently reduced to six lieads or 
topics — 1. Definitions. 2. Kelations. 3. Uses. 4. 
Sources. 5. History. 6. Method. 

§ 2. The first of these includes the answer to 
two questions — {a) What is ecclesiastical history? — 
(b) How far does it extend ? 

§ 3. In all such cases it is best to begin with the 
etymology of terms, when this can be determined 
without recondite research or fanciful conjecture. 

§ 4. The English word history is derived, through 
the Latin hiatoria, from' the Greek laropla, which, 
according to its etymology and primary usage, de- 
notes information^ knowledge gained by inquiry, 
with particular reference to matters of fact, and 


by a further limitation, to events or aclnal oc- 

§ 5. This last is the invariable usage of our own 
word, perhaps with the single exception of the 
technical phrase " E'atural History," in which the 
term retains its original and wider meaning. 

§ 6. Some modern writers make a distinction be- 
tween Oljective and Subjective History, the first 
denoting the .events themselves, the second their 
recital or exhibition, either viva voce or in writing. 

§ 7. "When we say that prophecy is verified in 
history, we use the word in its objective sense ; but 
when we say that the prophecies of Daniel are 
elucidated by the history of Greece, it is subjective. 

§ 8. It is only with subjective history that we are 
concerned as a science, or a subject of instruction, 
which may be defined the science of events, or the 
methodical and rational investigation of what has 
actually taken place ; the methodical or systematic 
form distinguishing history, properly so called from 
chronicles or annals, which are mere collections of 
historical material. 

§ 9. History, as thus defined, is necessarily un- 
bounded, and can never be exhausted, since some- 


thing may be added still to the most copious his- 
torical account, even of a day or hour. 

§ 10. It follows that all history must be eclectic, 
in the sense of presupposing or involving a selec- 
tion from the great mass of accessible materials. 

§ 11. The vast field of history may be reduced, 
without detracting from its value, by the twofold 
process of {a) Elimination and ijj) Division. 

§ 12. Elimination, as here used, is the exclusion 
of some element, belonging to the subject in its 
widest definition, but not essential to its practical 
utility or purpose. 

§ 13. "We may thus eliminate from history, as a 
subject of investigation, all that does not relate to 
the human subject, such as natural history and 
angelic history, as well as all that relates merely to 
the individual, and constitutes Biography, so far as 
this can be distinguished from History, of which it 
is, in fact, a species. 

§ 14. Division differs from Elimination in exclud- 
ing no entire element of history, but merely one or 
more of its parts, by an arbitrary or conventional 

§ 15. Such division may be merely mechanical. 


as in tlie case of Ancient and Modern History, 
which differ not at all in kind, bnt only in chron- 
ology ; or rational, as in the case of National His- 
tory ; or that of particular professions, sciences, or 

§ 16. Among the innnmerable possible divisions 
of General or Universal History, one of the most 
obvious and important is the old distinction be- 
tween Civil and Religious History, the first relating 
to men's temporal interests and mutual relations, 
the second to their spiritual interests and relations 
to their God, which cannot bo entirely divorced, 
but may predominate in different degrees, so as to 
give character and name to these two kinds of 

§ 17. Under the genus of Religious History, the 
most extensive and important species is the History 
of the Church, which is indeed almost the same 
thing, since all the topics of Religious History may 
be included in Church History, except perhaps the 
history of personal religion and a few particulars of 
still less moment. 

§ 18. The meaning of the phrase " Church His- 
tory," or rather its extent of application, will depend 
upon tliat of the term " Church," which although 


absolutely used to mean the Cliristian Clmrcli, as 
such, admits of a much wider application. 

§ 19. The word cliurcli has been derived by some 
from a Celtic root {cyrch or cylcli) meaning centre 
and then rallying-point or rendezvous ; but much 
more probably by most writers from a Greek 
phrase {olKia or eKtcK7]alcb KvpiaKrj) meaning the 
Lord's House or Congregation. 

§ 20. "We are concerned with it, however, only as 
a modern version of a Greek word {eKKkrjarla) de- 
rived from a verb {iKKoXeco) meaning to evoke or 
call out, but suggesting also the idea of convoking 
or calling together as an organized body. 

§ 21. The Greek noun is applied in the classics to 
the political or legislative bodies of the Grecian 
states, particularly Athens ; in the Septuagint ver- 
sion of the Old Testament, to the congregation of 
Israel, considered as the chosen people ; and in the 
New Testament, to the same body as reorganized on 
a Christian basis at the day of Pentecost. 

§ 22. The widest application of the phrase 
" Church History " depends upon the question, how 
long there has been a body in existence correspond- 
ing to the essential definition of eicKkriaCa^ i. e. one 



called out. from the mass of men, and called to- 
gether in a separate society, by divine authority, 
and for a religious purpose. 

§ 23. It is evident from Scripture that such a so- 
ciety existed long before the day of Pentecost, be- 
fore the Advent of our Lord, before the Babylonish 
Captivity, the reign of David, the Conquest of 
Canaan, the Mosaic Legislation, the calling of Abra- 
ham, the Universal Deluge. 

§ 24. Its existence may be traced back to the 
Protevangelium, or first promise of a Saviour (Gen. 
3, 15), with the accompanying prophecy of mutual 
hostility for ages between two great parties, " the 
seed of the serpent," represented by Satan, and 
" the seed of the woman," represented by Christ. 

§ 25. The fulfilment of this prophecy gives colour 
or complexion to all history, in which the opposi- 
tion or antithesis of Church and World can be dis- 
tinctly traced from age to age, beginning with the 
contrast between Cain and Abel, followed by that 
between the posterity of Cain and Seth, until con- 
founded by the impious amalgamation of the " sons 
of God " and " daughters of men," which led to the 
general corruption of mankind and their destruc- 
tion by a deluge ; then reappearing in the family 


of JSToah and the line of Sliem, made still more 
marked by the calling of Abraham, to be the father 
of a separate race, and permanently fixed by the 
Mosaic legislation, ceremonially distinguishing the 
chosen people, even externally, from every other, 
till the Advent of Messiah and the change of dis- 

§ 26. Since then a church or chosen people has 
existed in all ages, the idea of church history must 
be equally extensive, reaching from the Fall of 
Man, or his ensuing restoration, to the present 
moment, and this last is a variable fluctuating point, 
it is continually growing in extent, as every day 
adds something to the field and the materials of 

§ 27. The extent of the subject being still unman- 
ageably great, it may be conveniently divided, not 
by a mechanical and arbitrary process, but on prin- 
ciples arising from its very nature. 

§ 28. The primary division is into two great parts, 
which may be designated Biblical and Ecdesias- 
tical History^ the latter comprehending all that is 
not recorded in the Word of God. 

§ 29. The difference between these two parts is 
not merely circumstantial, but essential, being that 


between inspired and uninspired history ; a ready- 
made authoritative record, and one to be con- 
structed from diversified materials by human skill 
and labour ; the one requiring mere interpretation, 
while the other calls for a dissimilar and far more 
complicated process. The application of the same 
mode of treatment to materials so unlike, has al- 
ways been the cause or the effect of sceptical mis- 
givings, if not of avowed unbelief in the divine 
authority of Scripture. 

§ 30. As an additional facility in study and in- 
vestigation, Biblical History may be subdivided 
into that of the Old and that of the ]^ew Testa- 
ment, although the difference is here a circum- 
stantial one, implying no diversity of inspiration 
or authority, but only one of date, language, 
and specific form, requiring some diversity of 
method for the illustration and interpretation of 
these two great subdivisions of the Sacred History. 

§ 31. The three divisions of Church History thus 
arising (Old Testament, New Testament, and Eccle- 
siastical), are exceedingly unequal in their chrono- 
logical dimensions, the first comprising about forty 
centuries, the third eighteen, the second less than 
one, but claiming full equality of time and atten- 
tion, on the ground of its absolute importance, 


springing from the dignity of its subject, tlie Life 
of Christ and the Acts of his Apostles, and on that 
of its relative importance, as the winding up of the 
Old Testament History, and the foundation of Ec- 
clesiastical History, without which both would be 
incomprehensible and worthless. 

§ 32. According to these definitions and distinc- 
tions. Ecclesiastical History is the third great di- 
vision of Church History in the widest sense, be- 
ginning at the close of the New Testament Canon, 
or rather of the history which it contains, and 
reaching to the present time, or stretching indefi- 
nitely into the future. 

§ 33. Tlie relation of Ecclesiastical History, as 
thus defined, to Biblical or Sacred History, is not 
coincident with that between the history of the 
]S"ew and of the Old Dispensation, since a part of 
both these is contained in the ITew Testament, the 
Gospels belonging to the one, and the Acts of the 
Apostles to the other ; so that the limit of the two 
economics or dispensations does not fall between 
the Old and New Testament, but between the two 
historical divisions of the New. 

§ 34. This brings us to the second introductory 
question (see above, § 1), namely, what relations 


does Ecclesiastical History sustain to other sciences 
or fields of knowledge ? 

§ 35. Besides its relation to Biblical History, 
whicli lias just been defined, it has points of con- 
tact with a multitude of subjects, some of which 
are so near akin to it, and practically so insepara- 
ble from it, that they may be classed together as 
its cognate or auxiliary sciences. The nearest and 
most necessary of these helps, to which the name 
just mentioned has been commonly applied, are 
three in number : 1, Geography ; 2, Chronology ; 
and 3, Archaeology. 

§ 36. Historical Geography relates to the local- 
ities of history, and ascertains the places where 
events occurred ; and is therefore a subordinate 
auxiliary science, since the interest of the places 
depends upon that of the events, and not vice versa. 

§ 37. The same thing is true of Chronology, the 
science of dates, as these derive their value from 
the events, of which they fix the time, and not the 
events from them. 

§ 38. The principal uses of Historical Chronol- 
ogy^ so called to distinguish it from that which is 
merely arithmetical or astronomical, are to solve ap- 


parent contradictions, and to determine the mutual 
relation of events, especially as causes and effects, 
or antecedents and consequents. 

§ 39. That the absolute chronology, i. e. the pre- 
cise day or even year, of an event, however inter- 
esting it may be and worthy of attention when it 
can be ascertained, is not essential to historical 
truth or to its beneficial uses, may be seen from the 
familiar fact, that men not unfrequently forget the 
exact dates of their own biography, without losing 
their distinct impression of its principal events in 
their mutual relations and their true succession ; 
or, to borrow Bossuet's illustration, from the slight 
effect of the acknowledged error in the Christian 
era on the history of the last eighteen hundred 

§ 40. ArchcBology (from apxalo^^ ancient), the sci- 
ence of antiquity (hence called by the Latin name 
Antiquitates\ in its widest sense embraces ancient 
history, as in the Jewish Archaeology of Josephus ; 
but in its technical restricted sense, relates to 
usages or permanent conditions, as distinguished 
from events, which always involve change, so that 
nothing immutable can have a history, and the best 
tunes to live in are the worst to write about. 


§ 41. This distinction, being artificial and conven- 
tional, cannot be rigidly insisted on, since archae- 
ology and history are partially inclusive of each 
other, and are always interchanging their materials, 
events becoming usages by repetition, and perma- 
hent conditions being liable to change, and thus 
continually passing from the field of archaeology to 
that of history. 

§ 42. But even if they could be kept apart, their 
total separation would be undesirable, since they 
are necessary to illustrate and complete each other ; 
and accordingly the best historians are disposed to 
reunite them, by admitting much into their histories 
which formally belongs to archgeology, as in Ma- 
caulay's famous chapter on the change of manners 
and the mode of life in England, which is one of 
the most brilliant and instructive portions of his 

§ 43. Ecclesiastical Antiquities or Archaeology is 
limited by arbitrary modern usage to the govern- 
ment and worship of the Church in the first six 
centuries ; but recent writers give it more exten- 
sion, among w^hom may be mentioned a learned 
and laborious American scholar (Dr. Lyman Cole- 


§ 44. The moderns, and especially the Germans, 
are accustomed to distinguish many other auxiliary 
studies, such as that of Statistics^ exhibiting the 
actual condition of the world, or any of its parts, as 
to population, industry, wealth, trade, &c., at a 
given time^ in which it differs both from History 
and Archaeology ; DiplomaticSj or the art of decy- 
phering and verifying documents ; IlistoricaZ Phi- 
lology^ distinguishing the dialects of different local- 
ities and periods ; and many others, which it is not 
necessary to enumerate, as such distinctions, if pur- 
sued too far, tend to defeat their own design by 
comprehending every thing, especially in this case, 
where the principal subject, that of History, has 
really so many points of contact with the other 
provinces of human knowledge. ( Vide sicpra^ 

§ 45. In answer to the third preliminary question 
— What are the uses of Church History? For 
what reason or what purpose, is it to be studied ? — 
the utility of history in general may be argued 
from the space which it occupies in Scripture, and 
from the x^osition assigned to it in the literature of 
the wisest and most cultivated nations, as well as 
in every scheme of liberal study, which together 
may be represented as the testimony or the judg- 


ment of the civilized world tliroughont a course 
of ages. 

§ 46. The maxim that '' history is philosophy 
teaching by examples " has sometimes been abnsed, 
by making it the basis of specific prophecies or 
prognostications, which are usnally falsified by the 
event ; bnt this abnse does not destroy the lawful 
use of general experience, as a source of correct 
judgments in relation to the future ; just as long 
practice may be an invaluable guide to the physi- 
cian, though it does not enable him to predict with 
certainty the issue even of a single case. 

§ 47. Of history in general, and of ecclesiastical 
history in particular, it may be said, that they 
illustrate, in an eminent degree, the laws of the 
divine administration ; evince the truth of prophecy 
by showing its fulfilment ; and in due subordina- 
tion to the study of God's word and of our own 
hearts, furnish the best school of human nature, 
although commonly postponed to that of frivolous 
society and superficial worldly wisdom. 

§ 48. In addition to these benefits of all authentic 
history, that of the church contributes to the de- 
monstration of the truth of Christianity, by con- 
trasting it with every form of error, by recording its 


triumplis over enemies and obstacles wliich seemed 
invincible, and by showing its invariable moral in- 
fluence where it prevails ; all this in spite of human 
errors and corruptions, not only in the world, but 
in the church itself. 

§ 49. Among the salutary moral influences 
which have been ascribed to the judicious study of 
this subject, may be named the elevation and en- 
largement of the views beyond the petty bounds of 
personal, sectarian, or local interests ; the conse- 
quent discouragement of bigotry, and moderation 
of mere controversial zeal, without impairing men's 
attachment to the truth itself ; and lastly, the sup- 
pression of crude innovations, both in theory and 
practice, by showing that the same, if not in form 
in substance, have been canvassed and exploded 
centuries ago. But independently of all utilitarian 
considerations, authentic history, as well ecclesias- 
tical as general, demands attention on account of 
its intrinsic value, as a portion of that truth, which 
is the natural and necessary aliment of mind, and 
which would be entitled to regard on this ground, 
if it had no other practical effect whatever. 

§ 50. The fourth preliminary question {vide 
supra^ % 1), is. From what sources, or of what 


materials, is Ecclesiastical History to be con- 
structed ? 

§ 51. It may be answered, in the general, first, 
tbat according to the very definition above given 
(§ 29), all the authorities are uninspired ; and, 
secondly, that they are incalculably numerous and 
endlessly diversified. 

§ 52. In order to a more particular and positive 
solution of this question, the materials and sources 
of Ecclesiastical History have been divided into two 
great classes : 1st, Monumental ; and, 2d, Documen- 

§ 53. To the first class belong all historical ma- 
terials or authorities not contained in books, includ- 
ing monuments, not only in the narrow sense of 
tombs or sepulchres, but in the wide sense of relics 
or memorials of antiquity, particularly buildings, 
statues, paintings, medals, coins, inscriptions. 

§ 54. Authorities of this class, when extant and 
accessible, have this advantage, that they are origi- 
nals ; whereas, the oldest books now extant are 
mere copies of copies. 

§ 55. The utility of monumental sources or au- 
thorities may be exemplified by the arch of Titus, 


still standing at Rome, with the original carvings, 
representing the trinmph of the conqueror of Jeru- 
salem, from which are derived our common draw- 
ings of the sacred vessels and utensils of the temple, 
as carried in procession npon that occasion ; and 
also in a less degree hy the inscriptions npon 
ancient Christian tombstones, which are built into 
the wall of a gallery of the Yatican museum, and 
by which some light is cast on early customs and 
conditions of society. 

§ 56. In Ecclesiastical History, however. Monu- 
mental sources and authorities are neither so abun- 
dant nor so valuable as the Documentary, or those 
contained in books or other writings, whether man- 
uscript or printed. 

§ 57. These may again be subdivided into, 1st, 
Private or Personal ; and, 2d, Public or Official. 

§ 58. By Public Documents, in this connection, 
are meant all official acts of public bodies or au- 
thorities, having direct or indirect ecclesiastical in- 
fluence or jurisdiction. 

§ 59. The first place among these is due to the 
acts of councils, ecumenical or national, who claimed 
to represent the Church, and in her name decided 
questions both of discipline and doctrine. 


§ 60. Some idea of the vast extent of these 
materials may be gathered from the fact that be- 
sides a collection of these Acts of Councils in fonr 
folio volnmes, and another in twelve, there is one 
in eighteen, one (the best, that of Mansi) in thirty- 
one, and one in thirty-seven folios ; not to mention 
smaller , works, containing only national or local 
councils, such as Wilkin's Concilia. Magnse Britan- 
nise et Hibernise (4 vols. foL). 

§ 61. Another class of these material, inferior in 
authority, but of great historical value, are the Acts 
of the Popes, or of the Papal See — the Eegesta — 
the Corpus Juris Canonici — the Briefs — the Bulls — 
and the Decretals. 

§ 62. To give some idea, as before, of the extent 
of these materials, it may be stated that, although 
the Eegesta, prior to the close of the twelfth cen- 
tury, are lost, those belonging to the next four cen- 
turies are said to be preserved in the Yatican 
library at Eome, in two thousand folio manuscript 
volumes, which have never been accessible to Pro- 
testants, except in a solitary case, and then to a 
very limited extent. 

§ 63. A third class of public documentary ma- 
terials are those contained in the archives or records 


of civil governments in Europe, some of which go 
back to the old Roman times, and all of which 
contain ecclesiastical matter, in consequence of the 
intimate connection between church and state since 

§ 64. Still more direct in their bearing on 
Church History are the collections of Symbolical 
Books, including Creeds, Confessions, Catechisms, 
and other books of elementary instruction in the 
doctrines of religion, which of course afford impor- 
tant aid in tracing theological mutations. 

§ 65. Similar light is thrown upon the history 
of worship, and indirectly upon that of practical 
religion, by the ancient liturgies, which, far from 
being uniform and homogeneous, are both nume- 
rous and various in a high degree. 

^66. Of less intrinsic value, but of great histor- 
ical importance in relation to particular periods, are 
the rules and statutes of religious bodies, such as 
the Kegulse, or Constitutions of Monastic orders, 
which exerted a great influence upon society, and 
often give the key to circumstances otherwise inex- 

§ 67. This is not proposed as an exhaustive 


catalogue of public documentary materials, but 
rather as a sample of tlie most abundant sources, 
which may serve to convey an imperfect but defi- 
nite idea of the multitude of such materials, which 
exist, and may be used in the construction of Church 

§ 68. Private Documents include all other writ- 
ings which can throw light on the history of the 
Church, and which, in reference to their authority 
and value as historical materials, may be thrown 
into three classes. 

§ 69. Highest in this respect are contemporary 
books and papers, whether formally historical, di- 
dactic, controversial, practical, devotional, or epis- 
tolary, which last are regarded by the best modern 
writers as peculiarly important, especially when 
brought to light long after date, and evidently 
written without any view to publication ; so that 
the very compositions which are most emphatically 
personal and private often throw most light on 
public history, by revealing the true sentiments 
and secret motives of the leading actors, and are 
therefore gathered up, deciphered, and edited by 
learned men, with all the critical exactness that 
was once applied only to the classics or the Scrip- 
tures. A remarkable example is DeWette's edition 


of Luther's letters, with the various readings of the 
different manuscripts, a work which throws a vivid 
light on Luther's character and history, as well as 
on that of the Reformation. A similar effect, 
though in a less degree, has been produced upon 
our own revolutionary history, by extracts from 
inedited or newly-published private correspond- 
ence, exhibited in Living's Life of Washington. 

§ YO. !N"ext to these in value, as historical au- 
thorities, are works of later date, but made of con- 
temporaneous materials, especially when these are 
no longer in existence or directly accessible, in 
which case such works are the only succedaneum, 
imperfect though it be, for what has thus been 

§ 71. The third or residuary class includes all 
elaborations of historical material, not comprehend- 
ed imder either of the others, that is to say, a large 
proportion of the historical literature extant. 

§ 72. This class, though the lowest in historical 
authority, — which must not be confounded with lite- 
rary merit, since the finest modern composition may 
have less weight as a witness than the most uncouth 
and ungrammatical contemporary fragment, — has 
the widest influence upon the general mass of read- 



ers, who neither will nor can resort to the original 
authorities, except by proxy, but for that very rea- 
son have the deepest interest in knowing that their 
proxies are reliable and speak the truth. 

§ 73. We are thus brought to the fifth intro- 
ductory question {vide supra^ § 1), namely. Who 
have made use of these materials and brought them 
into history, and what has been the fruit of their 
labours ? 

§ 74. The answer to this question comprises the 
History, Literature, or Bibliography of Ecclesiasti- 
cal History. 

§ 75. It might have been expected that the early 
Christian Church would pay great attention to its 
own history, and bring it to a state of high perfec- 
tion, as so much attention had been paid to history, 
both by the classical and sacred writers (§ 45), 
and the highest models furnished of historiography, 
as well in Hebrew as in Greek and Latin. 

§ 76. But this antecedent probability was so far 
from being verified by the event, that the first 
three centuries are almost an entire blank in this 
respect, few histories having been composed, and of 
those few none preserved entire. 


§ 77. The oldest writer of church history, of 
whom we have any knowledge, was Hegesippus, a 
converted Jew of Asia Minor, who, about the mid- 
dle of the second century, by travelling and other- 
wise, collected the traditions of the Apostolic Age, 
now extant only in the shape of fragments and 
quotations, in the works of later writers. 

§ 78. Tlie same may be said of the Chrono- 
graphia of Julius Africanus, written about a hun- 
dred years later. 

§ 79. There is no proof that either of these 
works was a regular historical composition ; but, 
whatever may have been their form or character, 
they do not seem to have been so much in demand 
as to secure their preservation, though their disap- 
pearance may be owing to causes wholly indepen- 
dent either of their literary merit or the public 

§ 80. This remarkable neglect of Ecclesiastical 
History, in the. very period when it might have 
been expected most to flourish, has been imputed 
to the constant persecutions of the age ; but this is 
not a satisfactory solution, as they did not hinder 
other kinds of intellectual exertion ; and as some of 
the interesting liistorical documents of that age 


whicli have been preserved owe both their exist- 
ence and their subject to these very sufferings ; 
such as the account of the martyrdom of Polycarp, 
recorded by the church at Smyrna, and that of the 
persecution in the south of Gaul, by the churches 
of Lyons and Yienne (§ 498). 

§ 81. A better explanation, although still not 
wholly satisfactory, is, that historical studies were 
excluded by the general attention to didactic and 
polemic studies, and especially to philosophical 
speculation, which, when pushed to an extreme, 
has always led to the neglect of history. 

§ 82. A circumstance which may, at first sight, 
seem to favour the opinion that persecution was the 
cause of this neglect is, that the first change for the 
better took place under Constantine, by whom the 
church was freed from persecution ; but this, if it 
be more than mere fortuitous coincidence, cannot 
outweigh the facts just mentioned, as to other 
forms of intellectual activity. 

§ 83. The oldest " Ecclesiastical History," now 
extant, is the work of Eusebius, bishop of Cesarea, 
in Palestine, in the early part of the fourth cen- 
tury ; the confi'-^^ential friend and spiritual guide of 


Constantine ; a man of good mind and considerable 
learning ; of so mild a temper, even towards the 
erring, as to be suspected of agreement with them ; 
familiarly conversant with all the great events and 
persons of the day, and deriving great advantages as 
a historian from his free access to the archives of 
the empire, as well as to the library founded at 
Cesarea by his friend Pamphilus, from whom he is 
sometimes called Eusebius Pamphili. 

§ 84. Besides his Preparatio Evangel, which is 
not so much historical as doctrinal, he wrote a 
Chronicle and an Ecclesiastical History, to which 
his account of the martyrs of Palestine, and his 
panegp'ical biography of Constantine, may be re- 
garded as appendices. Tliese works, and especially 
the Ecclesiasticar History, are disfigured by a style 
at once inflated and jejune, and by a method some- 
times wholly arbitrary or fortuitous, and sometimes 
simply chronological, without any attempt at a di- 
gested systematic form. Their chief merits are 
the personal testimony of a witness so competent 
and credible to the events of his own time, and 
the preservation of older documents, fragments 
and quotations, in a manner which detracts from 
the literary merit of the composition, but enhances 
its value as a storehouse of materials. 



§ 85. Tlie example of Eusebius was not without 
effect upon his contemporaries, and especially his 
followers in the next generation, some of whom 
wrote history chiefly for polemic purposes ; as Epi- 
phanius, to whom we are indebted for most of our 
knowledge of the ancient heresies ; and Philostor- 
gius, whose lost work was intended to maintain the 
Arian cause. Another lost historian of the fourth 
century is Sidetes, of Pamphylia, described as a 
copious, but confused and immethodical, writer. 

§ 86. The next century produced several con- 
tinuators of Eusebius, whose history ends with the 
year 321 ; among the rest, two lawyers of Byzan- 
tium, Socrates and Sozomcn, and an eminent bishop, 
theologian, and interpreter, Theodoret ; all of whom 
cover nearly the same ground, being a little more 
than a hundred years. 

§ 87. In the beginning of the sixth century, 
Theodorus, of Constantinople, wrote a continuation 
of Eusebius, which is lost, and an abridgment, 
which is extant, but of little value. The last Greek 
continuator of Eusebius, or of his continuators, is 
Evagrius of Antioch, about the end of the sixth 
century, who brought down the history until near 
that time. 


§ 88. Tlie Latin cliurcli-historians of the same 
age were little more than translators and abridgers 
of the Greeks. The Historia Sacra of the Gallic 
Presbyter, Sulpicius Severus, called the Christian 
Sallust, from his comparatively classic style, and 
the similar work of the Spaniard, Orosins, are nni- 
yersal histories, but contain mnch religions or ec- 
clesiastical matter. Ruffin or Rnfinns, an Italian 
translated and continued Ensebius. Casiodorus, an 
Ostrogoth in Italy, by compilation and abridgment, 
formed a mannal, which, with that just mentioned, 
remained in use as a text-book through the Middle 

§ 89. During the Middle Ages there are no pro- 
fessed church-historians in Greek before Nicephorus 
Callisti in the thirteenth century ; but much eccle- 
siastical matter is Qontained in the Byzantine his- 
torians (from the end of the fifth to that of the fif- 
teenth century), as the Greek church was not only 
united with the state, but much involved in politics 
and court intrigues. 

§ 90. The subjugation of the "Western Roman 
Empire (near the end of the fifth century) by the 
northern barbarians, was followed immediately by 
great intellectual depression, and remotely by ex- 


treme devotion to scholastic studies, wliicli were 
equally unfriendly to liistoricrJ and classical pur- 
suits ; so that the medieval histories became mere 
chronicles or annals, among which two of the most 
celebrated are those of "William of Tyre and Mat- 
thew Paris, one relating chiefly to the east, the 
other to the west of Europe. 

§ 91. As exceptions to the general dearth of 
history in the Middle Ages may be mentioned some 
who wrote the history of their own national 
churches ; such as Gregory of Tours in France, 
Beda Yenerabilis in England, Paulns Deaconus 
in Italy, and Adam of Bremen in the north of 

§ 92. But besides the literary degradation of 
church-history in this period, • it was morally de- 
based by the increase of superstition, and especially 
that form of it called Hagiolatry, which led to a 
rivalry between the tutelary saints of different 
churches, provinces, and nations, to maintain which 
their biographies not only usurped the place of 
more important history, but were first embellished, 
and then forged, which did not prevent their being 
sanctioned by ecclesiastical authority, as legenda, 
or lessons to be read in public or private worship. 


whence our words " legend," ^' legendary," have 
become almost synonymous with '' fable," " fabu- 

g 93. The general state of historical knowledge 
reached its lowest ebb in the age before the Refor- 
mation, and was intentionally kept there by the 
rulers of the church, whose policy it was to repre- 
sent the existing rites and doctrines as identical 
with those of the apostolic age ; an illusion which 
would instantly have been dispelled by any clear 
view of the intervening history. 

§ 94. The Revival of Letters, which preceded 
and prepared the way for the Reformation, or Re- 
vival of Religion, gave the first shock to the pre- 
vailing ignorance, and by the sceptical criticism of 
such men as Laurentius Yalla, excited a spirit of in- 
quiry into early history as well as doctrine. 

§ 95. This spirit of historical inquiry is related 
to the Reformation, both as a cause and an effect, 
having led the way to the correction of abuses, 
and the restoration of a purer faith and practice, 
which, in their turn, gave a stronger impulse to 
this class of studies. 

§ 96. All the polemic writings of the great 


Reformers are so far historical as they demonstrate 
the corruptions of the Church of Rome to be inno- 
vations, and contrast them with the simplicity and 
purity of ancient times ; but Luther and Calvin 
wrote no formal histories, as their associates* and 
successors, Beza and Melancthon did ; a circum- 
stance which seems to show, that the importance of 
Ecclesiastical History as a means of refuting eri'or, 
and establishing the truth, was more and more ap- 
preciated, as the work of Reformation advanced. 

§ 97. The first complete Ecclesiastical History 
was the product of tlie Lutheran Reformation, al- 
though projected after Luther's death, by one of his 
most zealous disciples, Matthias Flacius called lUy- 
ricus, because a native of the ancient Rlyricum, a 
man of strong mind and great learning, and a 
strenuous opposer of the Church of Rome, but 
coarse in taste and violent in temper. 

§ 98. To Flacius is due the bold and new con- 
ception of a history of the Church upon the largest 
scale, designed to expose the Romish errors in de- 
tail, and trace the progress of corruption from age 
to age. 

§ 99. He had the sagacity to see, that such a 
work could be successful only in proportion to its 


fulness and exactness, and to the weiglit of the 
authorities on which it rested ; as well as that it 
was beyond the strength of any one man, and could 
only be accomplished by associated labour. 

§ 100. He therefore devised a well-concerted 
scheme of organization, consisting of five managers or 
directors {gubernatores)^ and under them ten labourers 
{pperarii)^ seven of whom were to collect materials, 
two to digest them, and the tenth to write them out. 

§ 101. The first part or number of this great 
work appeared at Basel, from the press of Oporinus, 
in the year 1559, and the last in January, 1574, 
under the title of '' Historia Ecclesiastica, &c.," but 
as Flacius and his chief associates were then resident 
in Magdeburg, and as the centuries were issued 
seriatim, it has ever since been known by the name 
of the " Magdeburg Centuries," and its authors as 
the " Magdeburg Centuriators." 

§ 102. Tliis publication acted as a blaze of light 
upon the darkness of the age, in which the rays 
which had already been omitted in particular dis- 
cussions were concentrated and reduced to a com- 
plete and regular historical arrangement. 

§ 103. At the same time, it raised ecclesiastical 
history to a i:>osition, which it has ever since retain- 


ed, especially in Germany, and althougli it repressed 
for a time tlie spirit of original investigation, in a 
field wliicli seemed to be already exhausted, it 
eventually gave a new and mighty impulse to such 
studies, in both divisions of the great Protestant 
body, exciting Lutherans to continue the good work 
begun among themselves, and stirring up the Cal- 
vinists to emulation. 

§ 104. Its effect upon the Church of Rome was 
still more remarkable, as it led, after various at- 
tempts to counteract its influence in other ways, to 
the preparation of a work of the same kind, de- 
signed ex|)ressly to refute it, and to establish, by 
historical evidence, the very system which the Cen- 
turies were meant to overthrow. 

§ 105. The person chosen for this service was a 
young Dominican of great ability and learning, 
Cesar Baronius, who was afterwards rewarded for 
his labours by the dignity of a Cardinal. 

§ lOG. Tlie " Annals " of Baronius made its 
first appearance in the year 1588, and was con- 
tinued by the same hand till the year 1607, the 
author having access to additional materials con- 
tained in the archives of the Papal See, and other 
repositories inaccessible to Protestants, {mde mjpra^ 


§ 62) ; but while this seemed to give him some ex- 
chisiye advantages, it also tended to excite suspicion 
in his own chnrcli as well as among Protestants, as 
to the fidelity with which he had made use of 
these materials, so carefully withheld from public 

§ 107. The " Annals," although now extremely 
rare, have been several times reprinted, with and 
without Henaud's continuation, bringing them down 
to the latter part of the sixteenth century. 

§ 108. These two great works, themselves the 
fruit of theological discussion in the age of the 
Reformation, may be represented as the parents of 
a vast and varied literature, belonging to the 
province of Ecclesiastical History. 

§ 109. Although the Annals of Baronius were 
intended to maintain the strictest form of Romish 
doctrine, the later historiography of that church 
was chiefly in the hands of its more liberal theolo- 
gians ; such as Fra Paolo (Sarpi), the classical and 
almost Protestant historian of the Council of Trent, 
to whom Pallavicino bears the same relation as 
Baronius to the Magdeburg Centuriators. 

§ 110. To the same class may be referred a bril- 


liant constellation of historians belonging to the 
Galilean or Komish church of France, among 
whom may be named Morinus, Petavius, Tille- 
mont, R. Simon, Flenry, and E'atalis Alexander, 
whose history was composed in such a spirit as 
to be put upon the Index of forbidden books at 

§ 111. The most elegant and eloquent of these 
Galilean historians was the famous Bossuet, the 
most admired preacher and accomplished champion 
of his church in that age, whose Discourse on Uni- 
versal History is not only a French classic of the 
iirst rank, but a noble view of the whole field from 
the highest Christian ground, though not without 
an eye to the exaltation of his own creed and com- 

§ 112. The Eeformed or Calvinistic churches of 
the seventeenth century furnished many zealous 
and successful rivals of the great historians of the 
previous age ; but it has been noted as a curious 
fact, that their researches tended rather to special 
than to general church history, though Hottinger 
in Switzerland produced a good work of that kind, 
while Spanheim and the Basnages in Holland, 
Daille, Blondel, and Salmasius in France, excelled 
in cultivating smaller fields. 


§ 113. In the same century, the Church of England 
produced many eminent historical writers, chiefly 
on special or restricted subjects, among whom may 
be named as representatives. Archbishop Usher ; 
Bishops Pearson, Beveridge, and Burnet ; Doctors 
Dodwell, Cave, Bull, and Bingham, who is still 
one of the highest authorities in the department of 
Ecclesiastical Antiquities, or Christian Archaeology 
{vide supra^ % 43). 

§ 114. The tone of church history continued to 
be controversial or polemic, more especially in Ger- 
many, until Calixtus, in the seventeenth century, 
attempted to introduce a more pacific and dispas- 
sionate mode of treating the subject, with a view to 
the promotion of his favourite scheme of reuniting 
all Christian churches, on the doctrinal and eccle- 
siastical basis of the first six centuries ; but the 
unpopularity of this scheme gave him little influ- 
ence on contemporary historiography. 

§ 115. More success, in this direction, attended 
the efforts of Spener, the first founder of the Pie- 
tists, to moderate polemic rancour, and to make 
experimental piety the essence of church history, 
as well as of Christianity itself ; while the orthodox 
Lutherans of the same date, like the Calvinistic 
writers of an earlier day, spent their strength 


chiefly upon special subjects, sucb. as the History 
of the Eeformation, as composed by Seckendorf 
and others. 

§ 116. This new mode of writing history was 
pushed to an extreme by Godfrey Arnold, in the 
early part of the last century, who allowed his feel- 
ings as a Pietist, and therefore an opponent of the 
Orthodox Lutherans, to govern him so far^ that he 
espoused the cause of heretics in general, and, with- 
out embracing their opinions, undertook to show 
that they were often, if not always, morally in the 
right, and "the Church, as a body, in the wrong. 
This work, although it gave rise to a long and 
angry controversy, was deprived of permanent and 
popular effect by its paradoxical character and by 
its harsh and unattractive style. 

§ 117. Though Arnold, strictly speaking, had 
no follower, his very excesses, v/hen contrasted with 
those of previous writers in the opposite direction, 
contributed still further to divest Ecclesiastical His- 
tory of its predominant polemic tone, and to pro- 
mote a more impartial and dispassionate treatment 
of the subject ; as appears from the tone of the 
most eminent historians in the first half of the 
eighteenth century, as well among the Lutherans 
(such as Buddeus, Fabricius, and Weismann) as 


among tlie Calvinists (sucli as Jabloiist:i,Venema, 
J. A. Turretin, Lenfant, Beaiisobre and Le Clerc, or 
Clericus) ; and the same thing is measnrably true 
of Komish writers also (such as Orsi and Mansi). 

§ 118. The danger now was that the controver- 
sial spirit wonld give place to one of cold indiffer- 
ence as to matters in dispute, even where the writer 
really adhered to orthodox opinions ; and this fear is 
thought by some to have been realized in the case 
of the next distinguished writer, who exerted a 
commanding influence both on contemporaneous 
and on subsequent historiography, John Laurence 
Mosheim, who died in 1755, after holding a con- 
spicuous position during many years, at Helmstadt 
and Gottingen. 

§ 119. Besides a multitude of books and tracts 
on various subjects, chiefly belonging to Church 
History, he published two, which have never lost 
their place among the highest secondary or deriva- 
tive authorities (see § Yl) ; his '' Commentaries on 
the State of Christianity before the time of Con- 
stantino," and his " Institutes of Ecclesiastical His- 
tory, Ancient and Modern ; " both which have 
been translated into English, and the last of which, 
though now comparatively little used in Germany, 


has long been a favourite text-book, both m Eng- 
land and America. 

§ 120. Tlie works of Moslieim are distinguished, 
in addition to the absence of all warmth and pas- 
sion, by a thorough knowledge of the subject, rare 
acuteness and sagacity in critical conjecture and 
historical combination ; great completeness and ex- 
actness as to the essential facts of history ; extreme 
formality and clearness of arrangement, and espe- 
cially by classical elegance of Latin style, which 
last attraction is of course w^ anting, both in the free 
or rather loose translation of Maclaine, and in the 
accurate but awkward one of Murdock, who has 
added to the value of the original, considered as a 
storehouse of facts, but not to its beauty as a com- 
position by his numerous and often overloaded 

§ 121. The influence of Mosheim's better taste 
and temper may be traced in the German writers 
who succeeded him, among whom may be named 
as representatives, Baumgarten, Cramer, Pfaff, and 
tlie two "Walchs, father and son, several of whom, 
as well as others not here mentioned, have inde- 
pendent merits of their own. 

§ 122. The next important change in historical 


writing and investigation was occasioned by the 
rise of German rationalism or neology, of which the 
reputed father is John Solomon Semler, professor 
at Halle, who, although educated in the strictest 
forms of Pietism, and never wholly emancipated 
from its influence, did more perhaps than any other 
person to shake the foundations of men's faith in 
the divine authority of Scripture, by calling every 
thing in question, and suggesting doubts as to the 
authenticity of almost every book in the Bible, a 
sceptical criticism which has been carried to still 
greater length by later writers, in reference both to 
Scripture and Church History, to which it was ap- 
plied by Semler himself, not in regular historical 
compositions, but in various confused, ill-written 
works, and, still more, through the intermediate 
agency of pupils and disciples. 

§ 123. The sceptical tendency thus introduced 
into the study of Church History had very different 
effects on different classes ; in frivolous and shal- 
low minds engendering contempt for the whole sub- 
ject, and producing works of a satirical and scofiing 
tone, such as those of Spittler and Henke ; while in 
minds of greater depth and earnestness, even when 
destitute of strong faith in the truth of Christianity, 
it led to a laborious reconstruction of Church His- 


tory by working iij) the original materials afresh, 
and giving them a new shape, either in general 
works (such as the gigantic one of Schrcickh), or 
special treatises (like those of Planek and Stiiudlin). 

§ 124. To the latter class belongs an extensive 
literature of recent date, beginning near the. close 
of the last century, and flourishing especially dur- 
ing the first quarter of the present, being one of the 
good, incidental fruits of the new impulse given to 
historical research by the sceptical or rationalistic 
movement, which produced a strong taste and de- 
mand for monographs, or thorough and minute in- 
vestigations of some single doctrine, period, or per- 
sonage, derived directly from original authorities, 
and published as a separate and independent work. 

§ 125. Besides the interest imparted to many 
distinct topics of Church History by this detailed 
and thorough mode of treating them, these mono- 
graphs were gradually storing up materials for new 
works of a general and comprehensive character, to 
fill the chasms or supply the place of those which 
had appeared before these new researches and ac- 
cumulations were begun ; the very same j)ersons 
sometimes taking part in both the processes, that 
is, distinguishing themselves as writers both of 
monographs and general church histories. 


§ 126. The most signal instance of tliis twofold 
labour and success is that afforded by IN^eander, of 
Jewish birth, but Christian education, a child in 
spirit and in secular affairs, but in intellect a man, 
and in learning a giant, for many years an eminent 
professor at Berlin, where he died in 1850, and now 
acknowledged to have no superior as a general 
writer on Church History, but first distinguished, in 
his early manhood, as the author of invaluable 
monographs or special treatises on Julian the Apos- 
tate, on TertuUian, on Chrysostom, and on Bernard, 
each of wdiich, besides a full biography, including a 
large portion of contemporary histoiy, contains a crit- 
ical analysis of many ancient and important works. 

§ 127. At the close of the first quarter of the 
nineteenth century, the time seemed to be come for 
the reduction of these new or freshly gathered 
stores to a complete and systematic whole in gen- 
eral church histories ; a crisis indicated by the 
almost simultaneous commencement of two great 
works which are still unfinished, but unanimously 
reckoned, by all competent authorities, to be the 
two great master-pieces of the age in this depart- 
ment, one by Neander, which appeared in 1825, 
and the other in the preceding year, by Gieseler, 
who was already known as a learned and sagacious 


critic, one of his ablest compositions being a review 
of ITeander's TertuUian, in which he developed his 
own theory of Gnosticism. 

§ 128. The authors of these two works are as 
mnch alike in some points as they are unlike in 
othei's, the resemblance lying in their education 
and extent of reading, their official positions and 
professional employments, their integrity and truth- 
fulness, and their use, for the most part, of the 
same materials, both being thoroughly and equally 
familiar with the oldest authorities, and the freshest 
forms into which the raw material had been newly 
wrought ; the diiference lying in the calm impar- 
tiality of Gieseler as contrasted with the honest and 
enlightened zeal of JSTeander ; and in the moderate 
and unimpassioned rationalism of the one, com- 
pared with the warm but meagre Christianity of 
the other. 

§ 129. The books themselves are as unlike as 
tlieir authors, both in plan and execution ; Gieseler's 
consisting of an exquisite selection from the very 
words of the original authorities, arranged as notes 
and strung together by a slender thread of -narra- 
tive ; ISTeander's of the very same materials, but 
digested in his own mind, and Avrought up into a 
flowing homogeneous narrative, exhibiting the ex- 


press of his character in almost every page and sen- 
tence ; the one as perfectly objective as the other 
is subjective in its whole design and structure ; the 
one enabling every reader to construct the history 
for himself, the other exliibiting it ready-made, but 
by the hand of a master. 

§. 130. The difference just mentioned may ac- 
count for the fact that Gieseler, although univer- 
sally applauded, and implicitly relied upon for facts 
and for materials, has founded no distinct school, 
and propagated no peculiar mode of writing his- 
tory ; whereas Keander has had many professed 
followers, who hold his principles, adopt his plans, 
and sometimes even imitate his style and manner. 

§ 131. Among the most faithful and yet most 
independent followers of Weander may be men- 
tioned Guericke, who carries out his master's plan 
in a more compendious form, but with an almost 
bigoted attachment to the peculiar doctrines of 
Luther, and in a style so crabbed and involved as 
to forbid translation or convenient use in elementary 
instruction, although it has been eminently useful 
as a vehicle, not only of the best historical knowl- 
edge, but of sincere piety and sound religious prin- 
ciples in all essential points. 


§ 132. Anotlier representative of this school is 
Jacobi, less orthodox and pious than Guericke, but 
nearer to ISTeander in sentiment and spirit, and 
superior to both in clearness and simplicity of style 
and method, which, together with the fact that his 
work was suggested and commended to the public 
by ISTeander, as the best compendious view of his 
own system, although far from being a mere abridg- 
ment, makes it matter of regret that it has not yet 
gone beyond a single part or volume, extending 
not quite to the close of the sixth century. 

§ 133. As other offshoots of I^eander's stock, 
though very different, in some points, both from 
him and from each other, may be named Schaff of 
Mercerburg and Lange of Zurich ; but as neither 
of these writers has yet brought his work below 
the Apostolic age, they can scarcely be considered 
as belonging to our present subject. 

§ 134. Still more unlike Neander, botli in senti- 
ment and method, although evidently nurtured in 
his school, is Hase of Jena, a man of genius and of 
cultivated taste, and an original and brilliant writer, 
but unduly partial to the mere sesthetic and artis- 
tical relations of his subject, not so much a believer 
as an admirer of the Gospel (rather than a believer), 
and so often obscure from epigrammatic or laconic 


brevity, and from rather presupposing than detail- 
ing facts, that he is scarcely more translatable or fit 
for elementary instruction than Guericke himself, 
though otherwise no two writers can be more dis- 
similar and even opposite. 

§ 135. One of the latest and best German 
writers is John Henry Kurtz, now Professor at 
Dorpat, but for many years a Gymnasial teacher, 
which has given him a practical acquaintance with 
the wants of students, while his thorough knowl- 
edge of the Biblical History, on which he is the 
author of some admirable works, gives him a great 
advantage over some justly celebrated church his- 
torians. His facility and zeal as a maker of books 
have tempted him to vary their form and multiply 
their number to excess ; but all of them are sound, 
clear, wholesome in tendency, and admirably suited 
both to academical and general use. 

§ 136. One of the most singular effects of mod- 
ern German changes in this science is the frequent 
adoption of the form and method common among 
Protestants, by Koman Catholic historians, includ- 
ing liberality of tone and abstinence from all po- 
lemic violence, but really by that means tending to 
insinuate their own views more effectually into the 

minds of unsuspicious readers ; while in Italy, and 


even in France, works of this class still retain the 
bigoted exclusive form, by which they have always 
been distinguished from the v/ritings of Reformed 
theologians. Of the former, Alzog's " Universal 
History of the Christian Church " may be taken as 
a sample; of the latter, S. L'Homond's "History 
of the Church," as re- written by the Abbe Postel, 
for the use of schools and families in France. 

§ 137. In the British isles. Ecclesiastical His- 
tory has been chiefly cultivated in the Church of 
England and the great Universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge, or by men instructed there, of late 
years more or less controlled by German influence, 
but never without much independent use of the 
original authorities, and almost always with the 
rare advantage of general culture, classical scholar- 
ship, and a native English style. 

§ 138. Near the end of the last century, Joseph 
Milner, an Anglican clergyman of the evangelical 
or low-church party, and a man of greater piety 
and learning than sound judgment, wrote the his- 
tory of the church until the Reformation, with the 
avowed purpose of making practical religion or ex- 
perimental Christianity the great subject of his work, 
and passing over all that does not bear upon it, a plan 
injudicious in itself, and very imperfect in its exe- 


cution, doing credit to the author's own religions 
character and sentiments, and generally edifying to 
' the ' readers of congenial spirit, but, as might 
have been expected, partial and onesided, and ex- 
ceedingly imperfect as a full view of the whole 

§ 139. Milman, now the Dean of St. Paul's, 
London, previously well known as a poet, an histo- 
rian of the Jews, and an editor of Gibbon, has also 
written a " History of Christianity to the abolition 
of Paganism in the Poman Empire," since con- 
tinued in his " History of Latin Christianity," ex- 
tending to Nicolas Y., a work distinguished by 
originality and erudition, an elegant though not 
an easy style, and free to a great extent from that 
apparent sympathy with German scepticism or 
latitudinarianism, with which some of his earlier 
works had been reproached, but not entitled to the 
praise of having carried Church History beyond 
the point where Gieseler and Neander left it. 

§ 14:0. Equally scholarlike and elegant, and still 
more Christian in their tone, but at the same time 
still more Anglican in sentiment and prepossession, 
although free from any thing offensive in preten- 
sion or assumption, are the '' History of the Chris- 
tian Church to the Pontificate of Gregory the 


Great," by J. C. Robertson, a beneficed clergyman 
in England, and tlie " History of the Christian 
Churcli during tlie first three centuries," by J. J. 
Blunt, late Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, 
the latter a posthumous collection of the Author's 
Academical Lectures ; the former intended for the 
use of general readers, as well as of students in 

§ 141. One of the latest and best English works 
of this class is the " History of the Christian Church 
during the Middle Age, and during the Eeforma- 
tion," by the Rev. Charles Hardwick, formerly of 
Cambridge, then of Harrow, now of King's Col- 
lege, London, the two volumes forming part of a 
Series of Theological Manuals, for the use of can- 
didates for orders in the Churcli of England, pre- 
pared by several difi'erent writers, and nOw issuing 
at Cambridge. The two in question show an inti- 
mate acquaintance with the modern German litera- 
ture, as well as the original authorities, soundness 
on all essential doctrines, avowed attachment to 
the polity and worship of the author's church, but 
scrupulous courtesy and candor towards others, 
with a clearness of method, elegance of style, and 
beauty of typography not often found in combina- 


§ 142. Kone of these modern English writers on 
Church History, betray the slightest tendency or 
tenderness towards Romish error, such as may be 
traced in the " Ecclesiastical History " of Palmer, 
one of the Oxford Theologians, republished in 
America by Bp. Whittingham, of Maryland, and 
adapted to parochial instruction. This work, 
which is a small and slight one, without any pre- 
tension to original or independent value, is the 
only general Church History with which I am ac- 
quainted, representing or proceeding from the Pu- 
seyite or Pomish party in the Church of Engand. 

§ 143. The sixth and last introductory topic 
is that of method, involving two questions, what 
method has been pursued by the best writers, and 
what method shall we adopt ourselves ; the answer 
to the second depending in some measure on the 
answer to the first, as we may profit by the fail- 
ures as well as the successes of our predecessors, 
without any annoyance on our part, since by stand- 
ing on the shoulders of a giant, even a pigmy may 
see further. 

§ 144. By metJiod is here meant such a distri- 
bution or arrangement of a subject as is neither 
accidental, i. e. determined by causes independent 
of the writer's will and judgment ; nor arlitrary. 


i. e. determined by his will alone ; but rational^ 
i. e. determined by an act of judgment, and for 
whicli a reason can be given. 

§ 145. Method is essential to all science, even 
in the widest sense, because it enters into the very 
definition or idea of science, as rational or systematic 
knowledge ; but is especially important in those 
sciences which do not rest on demonstration, math- 
ematical or moral, and which do not therefore dic- 
tate their own method, as geometry and logic do. 

§ 146. The choice of a good method is espe- 
cially important in historical studies, because there 
are so many ways in which the same facts may be 
stated, without any variation from substantial truth, 
as appears, not only from the usages of historical 
composition, but also from the usages of common 
life, no two men commonly adopting the same form 
or order in relating the most trivial incident. 

§ 147. But while this makes the choice of a 
good method indispensable in all history, there is 
nothing in the nature of Ecclesiastical History in 
particular, requiring a method wholly peculiar to 
itself, by assuming which necessity, historians of the 
church have not only hindered the progress of their 


readers, but gratuitously planted a great gulf be- 
tween this part of liistory and every other. 

§ 148. The rudest and crudest form of historical 
composition is the anecdotic ; in which the mate- 
rials are arranged at random, or as they come to the 
historian's knowledge, or occur to his mind in the 
act of writing. 

§ 149. The first step towards a rational method 
is the chronological arrangement of events in the 
order of their occurrence, which distinguishes chron- 
icles or annals, both from anecdotes on one hand, 
and from history properly so called upon the other. 

g 150. But this step, though essential, is not 
sufficient of itself, since it does not bring together 
things which belong together, or have an affinity 
arising from their very nature ; and yet this is the 
very end of method. 

§ 151. The next step towards a rational method 
is the topical aiTangement, or the combination of 
things mutually similar or akin, whether contem- 
poraneous and successive or not. 

§ 152. But neither is this sufficient of itself 
without regard to chronological order, because this 
order is essential to history, and if neglected, the 


materials, liowever well arranged as topics, become 
wholly confused, or lose their historical character 
and bearing. 

§ 153. These two methods therefore — and there 
seems to be no other not reducible to these — are 
both essential, not apart but together, and must be 
combined in order to produce a history ; and as 
this combination may exist in different proportions 
and be exhibited in various shapes, it still remains 
a question how it may be best effected. 

§ 154. In answering this question, great use 
may be made of previous experience, or the history 
of the efforts which have been made to solve this 
problem. (See § 143.) 

§ 155. In tracing this history, liowever, we need 
not go very far back, since the use of method, prop- 
erly so called in Ecclesiastical History^ is a matter 
of comparatively recent date. 

§ 156. The ancient writers of Ecclesiastical 
History seldom rise above the simple chronological 
arrangement, and are often wholly arbitrary or for- 
tuitous in their arrangement, as may be seen from 
the example of Eusebius and his followers. 

§ 157. The first genuine attempt at the solution 


of this problem was made by the Magdeburg Cen- 
tm-iators, who exhibit for the first time, a combined 
chronological and topical arrangement on the larg- 
est scale. (See §§ 97-101.) 

§ 158. The chronical arrangement of this great 
work is by centuries, for which the singular reason 
is assigned, that there is really a cycle or complete 
revolution of events in every hundred years ; a 
theory never, perhaps, generally current, or long 
since exploded. 

§ 159. The topical arrangement under each cen- 
tury consists of fifteen heads or rubrics, with a pre- 
fatory summary or general view, making sixteen in 
all — viz. : 1. General view. 2. Extent of the 
church. 3. Its external condition. 4. Doctrines. 
5. Heresies. 6. Eites. 7. Polity. 8. Schisms. 
9. Councils. 10. Bishops and Doctors. 11. Her- 
etics. 12. Martyrs. 13. Miracles. 14. Jews. 
15. Other religions. 16. Political changes affecting 
the condition of the church. 

§ 160. The fourth category, that of doctrine, is 
subdivided into more than fifty heads, the mere 
titles of which fill eleven folio columns, and consti- 
tute the framework of a body of divinity, as full 

and methodical as that of TertuUian. 


§ 161. The extent and minuteness of this topic 
shows or confirms, what is certain otherwise, that 
the immediate purpose of this great work was po- 
lemical or controversial ; to promote which, great 
minuteness of specification was required, in order 
to assail the Church of Eome at as many salient 
points as possible. 

§ 162. It appears from the preface or prospectus 
of the work, prefixed to the first Century, that the 
method was not framed by induction from a de- 
tailed survey of the materials, but constructed a 
friori,, as a framework, in or under which the ma- 
terials, when collected, were to be digested. 

§ 163. It appears from the same preface, and 
from an inspection of the work itself, that this pro- 
visional arrangement was originally framed with 
reference to the early centuries, though afterwards 
extended, for the sake of uniformity, to all the 
others, without any change whatever, so that under 
each, down to the thirteenth, we find the rubric of 
miracles long after they had ceased, and that of 
martyrs when there were no persecutions, except so 
far as the historians were tempted to admit facti- 
tious or imaginary miracles and martyrs, for the 
very sake of filling up their j)igeon-holes or niches. 


§ 164. The three facts stated in the last three 
paragraphs suffice to show that the arrangement of 
the Centuries, though admirably suited to a tem- 
porary purpose, was neither suited nor intended to 
be made perpetual, but is expressly represented by 
its authors as a first draught in an untried field, ad- 
mitting and requiring subsequent amendment. 

§ 165. And yet this cumbersome and compli- 
cated system has given character to subsequent 
historiography, especially in Germany, the later 
changes being not of principle, but form, and all 
contributing together to give this part of history a 
character peculiar to itself, and to divorce it from 
all others. 

§ 166. The real merit of the plan of the Centu- 
riators is its adaptation to its immediate purpose, 
and its convenience, even now, as a book of refer- 
ence in polemic theology, arising from the fulness 
and minuteness of its subdivisions, aided by a very 
comj)lete index to each Century. 

§ 167. But however useful when referred to as 
a dictionary, it was made almost useless as a book 
to be continuously read, by the very circumstances 
just referred to, and by the dispersion of facts be- 
longing to the same subject under difi'erent and dis- 


tant heads ; e. g. the history of an important her- 
esy might be divided between 'No. 4 (doctrine), No. 
5 (heresies), No. 8 (schisms), ]N'o. 9 (councils), No. 
10 (bishops and doctors), No. 11 (heretics), and No. 
15 (civil or political events, which would include 
the action of the government in all its changes). 

§ 168. The influence of this great work on 
method was naturally less in other churches, and 
we find accordingly some Romish writers adopting 
a much simpler plan, such as the biographical ar- 
rangement of Tillemont, who groups all incidents, 
as far as possible, around certain names or persons ; 
an arrangement highly useful in imparting life and 
individual interest to dry details, and, therefore, 
often revived since, among the rest, by Eudelbach 
and Bohringer of late years, but defective as a form 
of general history, because some topics cannot be 
reduced to it without an artificial violence, sufficient 
to condemn it as an aid to the understanding or the 

§ 169. But besides these foreign variations, 
changes became necessary in the mode of treating 
Ecclesiastical History, even in Germany, and in the 
Lutheran church, required by the gradual decline 
of the old controversial spirit, or rather by the new 
forms in which it revealed itself, as well as by a 


gradual change, if not improvement, in tlie public 

§ 170. This change of method was almost in- 
sensible, and spread through many generations, but 
may be said to have attained its first development 
and elimination in the Institutiones of Mosheim. 
(See §§ 118-120). 

§ 171. This change, however, though apparently 
so great, is not so much a change of principle as of 
detail and outward form, consisting in the simplifi- 
cation of what was complex, and the embellish- 
ment of what was rugged and uncouth, without 
departing from the "essential features of the older 

§ 172. He retains the centurial arrangement, 
not as founded in the nature of things (see § 158), 
but as commonly preferred and universally famil- 
iar, and improves it by distributing the centuries 
in four groups, which may be regarded as the form 
of the modern periodologies. 

§ 173. In his topical method he retains the ru- 
brical arrangement, but reduces the number of di- 
visions, and adopts a more symmetrical adjustment, 
throwing the whole under the two heads of Exter- 
nal and Internal History, dividing the former into 


Prosperous and Adverse changes ; tlie first including 
all additions to the area of Christianity, and friendly 
relations to the state and to society ; the latter all 
contractions of the field by conquest, persecution, 
or apostasy ; while under the internal head he 
groups, 1st, the history of learning, education, and 
philosophy ; 2d, Church government and teachers ; 
3d, theology, didactic, biblical, polemic, moral ; 
4:th, rites and ceremonies ; 5th, heresies and schisms. 

§ 174. Tliat this is really the old Magdeburg 
method, in a somewhat improved shape, is evident 
not only from its very form, but from its practical 
efi'ects, as we still have heresies and heretics, doc- 
trine and doctors, theologians and theology, di- 
vided from each other in a very artificial rHncon- 
venient manner, so that the author is compelled in 
some parts of his work to abandon his own method 
as unmanageable, even by himself. 

§ 1Y5. It was not to be expected that the new 
impulse given to historical inquiry by the sceptical 
(U'iticism (§§ 122-124), would leave the method of 
ecclesiastical historiography unchanged ; and ac- 
cordingly we find new methods multiplying very 
fast within the last half century. 

§ 1Y6. But what is truly strange is that the 


Germans, even in tlie act of making all things new, 
should have I'etained the rubrical arrangement, at 
least in its essential princi2:)le, and made a thorough 
change only in the chronological arrangement of 
the subject. 

§ 177. This change consists in discarding the 
centurial arrangement altogether, as a framework 
of the history, and substituting j)eriods of unequal 
length, determined by important points or epochs, 
without any reference to the centuries at all. 

§ 178. Tlie only change in the toj)ical arrange- 
ment is a formal one, consisting in a further im- 
provement uj^on Mosheim's plan in point of clear- 
ness and simplicity, and the reduction of the heads 
to the smallest possible number that can be recon- 
ciled with the rubrical principle at all, which prin- 
ciple is still retained and rigorously carried out. 

§ 179. These modern methods vary from each 
other in detail, but the essential type is that af- 
forded by !N"eander, who reduces all the topics to 
four heads or classes : 1. The enlargement and con- 
traction of the area of Christendom, including its 
relations to the state and to society. 2. Its organi- 
zation, government, and discipline. 3. Its doc- 
trines, controversies, heresies, and theologians. 4. 


Christian life, including worshij), with its rites and 
forms, and practical religion as exemplified in the 
lives of its professors. The most important topic 
added by some modern church historians is that of 
Art as auxiliary to religion, including Poetry, 
Music, Architecture, Painting, and Sculpture, so 
far as they have been enlisted in the service of the 

§ 180. This latest form of ecclesiastical histori- 
ography appears to be regarded as the ultimatum 
of improvement, not only by the Germans who in- 
vented it, but by their imitators and discijDles else- 
where, who sometimes apologize for using a less 
scientific and more popular arrangement, like that 
employed in secular or general history ; as if this 
resemblance were a necessary evil, and not the 
greatest jDossible advantage, and the strongest rec- 
ommendation of the method which exhibits it. 
(Quote as an example the last paragraph of Robert- 
son's preface.) 

§ 181. It may, therefore, seem presumptuous, 
without any such apology, to question the per- 
fection of this modern and fashionable system, so 
far as it is really a new one, by objecting, not 
(only) to its details, but to its princij^le, and more 
especially to its beginning at the wrong end in its 


process of improvement, retaining the rubrical ar- 
rangement notwithstanding its acknowledged in- 
conveniences, and making a thorough alteration 
only in the chronical arrangement, which was far 
less objectionable and defective. 

§ 182. The objection made by this school to the 
old centurial arrangement is that it is arbitrary and 
mechanical ; a singular contrast to the doctrine of 
the Magdeburg Centuriators, who supposed it to be 
founded in the nature of the subject and the provi- 
dential laws which govern the succession of events 
(§ 158), a doctrine which however was abandoned (if 
it ever had been current) by, or before, Mosheim. 
(§ 173.) 

g 183. The fact alleged may be admitted, but 
with two qualifications, which materially influence 
its force as an objection ; first, that as all chrono- 
logical divisions are expedients to assist the mem- 
ory, not arising necessarily from something in the 
nature of the subject, but the fruit of " art and 
man's device ; " however rational and well-con- 
trived, their being contrived at all subjects them to 
the charge of being arbitrary, and to some degree 
mechanical or formal. 

§ 184. The second qualifying circumstance is 


really included in the first, but may be separately 
stated, namely, that the same charge lies against 
the very methods of division and arrangement 
which it is proposed to substitute for the centurial ; 
since every period ology that has ever been pro- 
posed is, after all, an artificial framework, which 
requires some eflwt of the understanding to insert 
it in its proper place, and still more efifort of the 
memory to keep it there. 

§ 185. Sometimes this vague charge is made 
more specific, by alleging that the centurial ar- 
rangement absurdly presupposes all the various 
series of events, and sequences of causes and eff"ects, 
to be simultaneuosly wound up at the end of every 
hundred years ; whereas the threads are of unequal 
length, and while one falls short of the century an- 
other overruns into the next. 

§ 186. But besides the false reproach thus cast 
upon the old arrangement, which (except in the case 
of the Magdeburg Centuriators) purports to be only 
an approximation and a practical convenience 
(§§ 1Y2-182), this plausible objection quietly ig- 
nores the fact, that the very same thing may be 
said with equal truth, though not true to the same 
extent, of every periodical arrangement that can be 
imagined ; for, however nearly such divisions may 


approacli to the ideal standard, it will not be 
seriously alleged that any of them has succeeded in 
making all the threads of history coincident in their 
commencement and their termination, so that noth- 
ino^ overruns the mark or falls short of it. 

§ 187. Tliat this is peculiarly the case with the 
centuries, as being more numerous and uniform, is 
true p but this difference of degree may be out- 
weighed by peculiar advantages of other kinds ; 
such as perfect uniformity of length, requiring no 
repeated effort of the understanding or the memory 
to retain or to recall them ; and their universal use, 
not only making them still more familiar, but 
maintaining the connection between this and other 
kinds of history, which all peculiar methods tend 
to weaken and destroy. 

§ 188. Another qualifying circumstance in fa- 
vour of the old arrangement is, that even those who 
are most zealous for the Periods, and against the 
Centuries, are after all obliged to make the latter 
the substratum of their own plans, not only by re- 
ferring particular events to such and such a cen- 
tury, but by ascribing to whole centuries, as such, 
a definite distinctive character ; so that instead of 
superseding the old method by a new and better 


one, they often spoil both by confounding and en- 
tangling them together. 

§ 189. All this would be true if the modem 
German school had succeeded in uniting upon some 
one scheme or system of great periods to supersede 
the centuries ; but how much more when the re- 
sults are so endlessly diversified, that there seems 
ground to fear that the process of invention will 
defeat itself, by making all points salient and every 
notable event an epoch. 

§ 190. ISTor is it merely the diversity and num- 
ber of the modern periodical arrangements that de- 
tracts from their utility, but also their exclusive 
character, when made the framework of a general 
church history ; in consequence of w^hich, he who 
follows Gieseler's method cannot make use of 
Meander's, even in the way of reference, without 
trouble and confusion, since the same event which 
stands at the beginning of a period in one, may 
stand at the conclusion of a different ]3eriod in 
another ; to say nothing of the general dislocation 
and distortion which result from the comparison 
or simultaneous use of methods so unlike and so ex- 
clusive of each other. 

§ 191. While these objections may be made to 


the entire change introduced into the chronical ar- 
rangement of Church History by the modern Ger- 
man school, tliere are others, of a very diiferent 
nature, to the partial change effected in the topical 
or rubrical arrangement, over and above the gen- 
eral objection which has been already stated (§ 181), 
that it is a partial change and not a total one. 

§ 192. The essence of the rubrical arrangement, 
common to the earliest and latest German church- 
historians, is the practice of pursuing every topic, 
whether there be few or many, through the whole 
of every period, whether long or short, and then be- 
ginning with the next until the schedule is com- 
pleted, the divisions and the titles being absolutely 
uniform in every case. 

§ 193. To this essential feature of the system in- 
vented by the Magdeburg Centuriators, and ad- 
hered to even by their harshest critics, notwith- 
standing endless variations in detail, and vast im- 
provements in simplicity and symmetry of form, 
there are various objections, which may however be 
reduced to three, drawn from History, Analogy, 
and Experience. 

§ 194. The historical objection to the rubrical ar- 
rangement, as above described (§ 192), is that it 


originated with the Magdeburg Centuriators, and 
was generated in the violent polemic fermentations 
of that age, a genesis which raises a presumption 
adverse to its permanent utility, since every age 
must have its own mode of assailing error and de- 
fending truth, even when the truth and error are 
unchanged, and since the world has long ceased to 
regard Church History as a mere offensive weapon 
or defensive armour in religious warfare. 

§ 195. If this objection be well founded, the 
mere formal changes which have been made in the 
rubrical arrangement, however valuable in them- 
selves or in relation to some other standard, do not 
remove the ground of the objection, since an in- 
crease of simplicity and symmetry detracts from 
the original efficiency of this contrivance, which 
arose in a large measure from the very features 
which are thus removed, without relieving its de- 
fects and inconveniences, considered as a means to 
other ends. 

§ 196. But as the origin of tliis plan could 
afford no good reason for condemning and rejecting 
it, if in itself good, an additional objection may be 
drawn from the analogy of history and histori- 
ography in general, to wit, that the method now in 
question is peculiar to Church History (except so 


far as its example affected the practice of the secu- 
lar historians), having never been found necessary 
or expedient by historians of any other class or 
period, ancient or modern, sacred or profane ; a 
circumstance not only very strong, as a presump- 
tive proof, at least, that it is equally unnecessary 
elsewhere, but a key to the otherwise inexplicable 
difference of form and method, between this one 
kind of history and every other. (§ 147.) 

§ 197. Even this peculiarity of form, however, 
would be quite as insufficient as its . mere historical 
extraction, to condemn the method, if it were not 
open to the practical objection, that instead of ex- 
citing greater interest in this important study, it 
has seemed to make it less attractive, and instead 
of aiding the memory, which some have made a 
reason for adopting it, has tantalized and weakened 
it, by endless rejDetition of the same monotonous 
and lifeless forms under which the actual variety of 
history is lost or hidden, like soldiers in a uniform, 
or mummers in a masquerade. 

§ 198. One fact may be considered certain, 
however it may be explained, to wit, that no such 
method, or at least no such extensive and detailed 
application of it, would be tolerated in any field of 
liistory wliere a less artificial arrangem^ent lias be- 


come familiar ; as, for instance, in the history of 
the American and French Eevolntions, or, what is 
nearly the same thing, the lives of Washington and 
Bonaparte, in writing which, although the ma- 
terials are so abundant and the phases or aspects of 
the subject so diversified, the thought of dividing 
the whole matter into periods, and then going 
through or over each in several successive journeys, 
first collecting all the military facts, then the polit- 
ical, and then the personal or private, has happily 
never occurred to any of the eminent historians, by 
whom these two great themes have been succes- 
sively handled, from Marshall to Irving, and from 

Scott to Thiers. 


§ 199. On the strength of these considerations, 
drawn from history, analogy, and practical eflfects, 
it may not be unlawful, after all, to a^ttempt an- 
other movement in advance, by improving, if pos- 
sible, on both parts of the method now in vogue, to 
wit, its Chronological and Topical arrangement ; 
especially as this change is projDOsed, at least in the 
first instance, only as a limited experiment, con- 
fined, both in its good and bad effects, to the 
classes of a single institution, and indeed to the in- 
structions of a single teacher. 

§ 200. With respect to the Topical part of the 


system, tlie proposed change is to set aside tlie ru- 
brical arrangement altogether, as a framework run- 
ning through the history and determining its whole 
form, and to substitute a natural arrangement of 
thjj topics, by combining a general chronological 
order with a due regard to the mutual relative 
importance of the topics themselves ; so that what 
is prominent at one time may be wholly in the 
background at another, instead of giving all an 
equal prominence at all times, by applying the 
same scheme or formula to all alike. 

§ 201. This natural method, so called to distin- 
guish it from every artificial or conventional ar- 
rangement, far from being new, is recommended by 
the practice and example of the best historians in 
every language and in every age ; affording a pre- 
sumptive, if not a conclusive, proof both of its the- 
oretical consistency and of its practical efficiency 
and usefulness, and at the same time a convenient 
means of keeping this and other parts of universal 
history in mutual connection and agreement with 
each other. 

§ 202. With respect to the Chronical division 
and arrangement, the change proposed is neither to 
add one more to the exclusive schemes already ex- 
tant, nor to retain any one of them exclusively of all 


the rest, but simply to avail ourselves of all of 
them, so far as they can be combined, both as in- 
trinsically valuable aids in historical study, and as 
a means of making all the most important sys- 
tems of Church History alike and simultaneously 

§ 203. In order to accomplish this design, the 
chronological arrangement must be, as far ae possi- 
ble, separated from topical details ; so that instead 
of two conflicting methods crossing each other, and 
dividing the whole subject upon different and often 
inconsistent principles, there may be still two 
methods, and the same two, but distinctly and suc- 
cessively presented, not promiscuously mingled, 
both in the foundation and the superstructure of 
the history, considered as a building, but the one 
(the chronological division) underlying the other 
(the topical division), as a basis underlies the super- 
structure ; or, to use another architectural analogy, 
the one affording, as a framework, both the space 
and the form into which the other, as material, is 
to be arranged and built. 

§ 204. This idea can be realized, if realized at 
all, only by taking two successive views or surveys 
of. the whole field ; one more general, the other 
more particular ; one conducted on a chronical, the 


other on a topical arrangement ; or in other words, 
by making the chronological division of the subject 
introductory, and prior to the topical details, which 
may then be treated in the form and order which 
experience may indicate as most convenient, with- 
out any subdivision or restriction, exce])t such as 
may be suggested by the nature, or the subject, or 
the taste and inclination of the writer. 

§ 205. The two modes of division and arrange- 
ment being thus retained, but sundered, we obtain 
not only an exemption from the irksome and inju- 
rious necessity of breaking off in the examination of a 
topic because some imaginary line is reached, and 
must not be overleaped till every other topic has 
been brought up to the same mark, but also the 
opportunity of placing side by side as many chron- 
ological arrangements as we please, not only to 
compare them once for all, but to retain them and 
employ them, both as aids in the study of the sub- 
ject, and as keys to the respective systems which 
they represent, and of which they are constituent 
elements or component parts. 

§ 206. The difference between the method here 
proposed, and that which it is meant to supersede, 
may be illustrated by the actual division of a literal 
fickl or tract of land by a system of walls and 


ditches, which of course excludes every other sys- 
tem of the same kind, since the combination of the 
two, and still more of many, would cut up the sup- 
posed field into irregular and useless parts ; whereas 
any number of such systems may be drawn on 
paper, or even marked upon the surface of the 
ground, without interference or collision, and per- 
haps with great facilities of mutual comparison and 

§ 207. It is proposed then to divide the course 
of history before us into two unequal parts, the first 
and lesser part consisting of a general survey of the 
whole field, and of the various ways in which it 
has been or may be divided and subdivided, dis- 
tributed and arranged, for the purpose of a more 
detailed examination ; the second and larger part 
containing this detailed examination itself, in the 
natural order of its topics, unrestricted by the pre- 
vious chronological divisions, but with all the ad- 
vantage of assuming and referring to them, as a 
means of fixing dates, and of comparing the posi- 
tions occupied by any given topic or event in dif- 
ferent schemes or systems of Churdi History. 

§ 208. Tlie first of these surveys, although the 
least thorough and extensive, derives great relative 
importance from the use wliich we propose to make 


of it, as tlie foundation or tlie framework of the 
other, the completeness and success of which must 
therefore be dependent, in a great degree, upon the 
clearness and precision of this introductory and 
general view. 

§ 209. The confusion and complexity which 
must arise from an attemj)t to look at various peri- 
odologies at once, may be avoided by surveying 
them successively and seriatim^ just as the face of 
any country may be studied, with the aid of skele- 
ton or outline maps, by confining the attention first 
to one physical feature, such as mountains, with 
the natural divisions which they form or mark out, 
then j)i'oceeding to another, such as streams and 
water-courses ; then superadding the political dis- 
tinctions and designations ; or as one previously 
familiar with all these, may use a railway map 
of the same region without difficulty or confusion. 

§ 210. But in order to pursue this gradual pro- 
cess with advantage, it is important to begin right, 
i. e. not with what is complex and obscure, which 
would defeat the end at once, but with that which 
is comparatively simple, i. e. exhibiting the small- 
est number of dividing lines and consequent divis- 
ions, so that from these we may proceed almost 


insensibly to those of a more minute and comjDlex 

§ 211. Another most desirable condition, if at- 
tainable, in such a primary division of the subject, 
is that it be not only simple in itself, but familiar 
from extensive use and general application. 

§ 212. If these two qualities could only be had 
separately and apart, it might be hard to choose 
between a simple method little known, and one 
more complex but extensively familiar. 

§ 213. By a happy coincidence, however, both 
conditions may be said to meet in one mode of ar- 
ranging and distributing Oliurch History, to wit, 
the division into three great periods, the Ancient, 
Middle, and Modern Ages. 

§ 214. The simplicity of this mode speaks for 
itself, while its previous and general familiarity ap- 
pears in the first instance, from its use in common 
parlance and in general usage, which have few ex- 
pressions more familiar than that of " Middle 
Ages," implying both the others ; and then from 
its adoption by all modern church historians, either 
tacitly and hidirectly, as by Mosheim, Gieseler, and 
JSTeander, or avowedly and formally, as by Guericke, 
Hase, [Xiedner], Kurtz, and Schaff. 


§ 215. The reality and usefulness of tliese divis- 
ions are entirely independent of precision in tlieir 
boundaries ; as the latter may be variable and doubt- 
ful, while the former are self-evident and palpable ; 
just as a surveyor, before running a line or measur- 
ing a foot, may obtain, from an elevated point in the 
tract to be surveyed, a perfectly distinct impression 
of its principal features, — water, woodland, meadow, 
tillage, — not only in themselves, but in their rela- 
tive position and general comparative extent ; 
or as the student of ancient geography may learn 
as much as can be known, or need be known, as to 
the relative position of the tribes of Israel, and the 
states of Greece, without any bounding lines at all, 
which can only be assigned by guess ; as the mod- 
ern geographer or politician readily distinguishes 
between the northern, eastern, middle, southern, 
western States of the American Union, though the 
Imes of demarcation may be variously drawn ; as 
no man doubts the real difference between child- 
hood, youth, maturity, and old age ; or between 
mornmg, evening, twilight, night ; or between 
the seasons of the year ; although he cannot posi- 
tively draw the line or fix the point where any one 
of these divisions ceases and the next begins. 

§ 216. The conclusion to be drawn from these 


analogies is, that even if we were without any clefi- 
nite boundaries whatever between these three great 
divisions of the field of history, the divisions them- 
selves might be distinctly marked and nsefully em- 
ployed, the difference lying not in the edges, bnt 
the central map, or rather in the whole extent, as 
the prismatic colours of the rainbow may be per- 
fectly distinguishable, although they appear to fade 
into each other by a vanishing and almost imper- 
ceptible transition. 

§ 217. The case however is not really so bad as 
we have here assumed, there being a tolerably well 
defined limit, especially between the Middle Ages 
and the Modern, w^hich are universally agreed to 
be divided by the Eeforraation, excepting onty 
some extreme ultramontane Papists, such as Postel 
(§ 136), who makes the Eeformation a mere subdi- 
vision in one of his great periods, extending from 
tlie fall of the Greek Empire to the close of the 
Council of Trent. (§317.) 

§ 218. There is less unanimity in reference to 
the boundary between the First and Middle Ages, 
because the transition there is not- effected by a 
great revolution (religious, intellectual, and social), 
which is always definite in date, because sudden in 
its outbreak, however long its causes may have 


been in operation ; but by a plurality of changes 
wbicli reacbed tbeir height, or attained maturity at 
different, although not at distant, points of time, just 
as different fruits ripen in succession, and yet all 
belong to the same season ; so that by making one 
or another of these changes prominent, we gain a 
somewhat different line of demarcation. 

§ 219. Although, for reasons which have just 
been stated (§§ 215, 216), it is not absolutely nec- 
essary to decide between these various boundaries, 
it may be well to gain a general knowledge of 
them, by beginning with extremes, i. e. with the 
earliest and latest limits of the Ancient period, 
which have been proposed, and tlien proceeding to 
the intermediate lines, or those which have been 
drawn between them. 

§ 220. The earliest limits which have been as- 
signed to the Ancient Period or First Age of 
Church History are, the beginning of the fourth 
century (Thiele), when persecijition ceased, and the 
church became united with the state ; and the close 
of the same century, when the empire was finally 
divided into two, and about to be flooded with bar- 
barians (Koeppen), both which make the First Age 
too short in proportion to the others for any practi- 
cal purpose. Nearly coincident with this is Mil- 


man's ancient period, to the abolition of paganism 
in the empire. 

§ 221. The latest limit which has been assigned 
to the same period is the close of the tenth centnry, 
the period of the greatest darkness and the most 
extreme depression ; but this is open to an opposite 

§ 222. Midway between these two extremes is 
the close of the seventh century, after the sixth 
oecumenical council, which seems to have been in- 
dependently selected as the boundary by several 
historians of very different schools, such as Alzog 
(§ 136), Kurtz (§ 135), and Palmer (§ 142), who 
assigns as a reason, that the equilibrium was now 
disturbed, the heresies being no longer counter- 
balanced by the " holy oecumenical councils," nor the 
losses of the church at home by gains abroad. 

§ 223. On either side of this mean line two others 
have been drawn, which are still more extensively 
adopted ; first, the end of the sixth century, re- 
garded by many of the older writers as the close of 
the ancient period and of the series of Church 
Fathers, and substantially adopted by Neander and 
his school, because the hierarchy was there complete 


in tlie person of the first pope, Gregory the Great. 
(Guericke, Jacobi, Schaff, Kobertson, Hawkins.) 

§ 224. Hase, and Kurtz in his earlier works, 
draw the line at the close of the eighth century, 
when the centre of gravity was transferred from 
the Koman to the German side, as represented by 
Charlemagne and his successors. (Mosheim, "Wad- 
dington, Lindner, Frick.) 

§ 225. Amidst these variations as to precise 
boundaries, it still remains true that the three great 
periods are distinct and distinguishable ; and while 
the choice seems to lie between the last two lines, 
it may be well to retain' both, as distinct but com- 
patible divisions, and to look rather at the great 
characteristic feature, than at the precise bounds of 
the periods in question. 

§ 226. As an aid to the memory, more useful 
than agreeable to good taste, the three great Periods 
or Ages may be designated by single words as the 
periods of Formation, Deformation, and Reforma- 
tion, or perhaps in better English, as the Forming, 
Deforming, and Reforming periods, a nomenclature 
not merely arbitrary, but founded on the mutual re- 
lations of the periods, since Reformation implies pre- 
vious Corruption, and Corruption original formation. 


§ 227. But as every period has more than one 
face or aspect, and cannot therefore be exhaustively 
described in one word, the three ages may be more 
precisely thongh less pointedly distinguished as (I.) 
the period of Formation and Discipline (not ecclesi- 
astical, but providential) ; (II.) the period of Conso- 
lidation and Corruption (or Petrifaction and Putre- 
faction), the cessation of activity, however brilliant 
in appearance (like the reign of Solomon compared 
with that of David), often coinciding with incipient 
corruption ; (III.) the period of Reformation and 
Division, the same principle which wrought the 
one, tending, when pushed to an extreme, to work 
the other. 

§ 228. It would be easy to multiply descriptions 
of the three great periods or ages, founded upon 
partial views, and more especially on single aspects 
of their relative condition, some of which are inge- 
nious and just in theory, though not always practi- 
cally useful or available. 

§ 229. Such is Schaff's description of the first 
age as that in which the subjective and objective, 
or the individual and aggregate, constituents of all 
church history, were held in equilibrio, or kept in 
due proportion to each other, not so much by a de- 
liberate and conscious effort, as by providential 


causes ; and when these ceased to operate, one of 
the elements became predominant, and brought to 
view a new phase of the history. 

§ 230. Tims in the Middle Ages, the objective 
was predominant, the right of private judgment and 
the sense of personal responsibility being merged in 
the authority and absolving power of the Church 
(which is the fatal spell of popery, entirely indepen- 
dent of her ceremonies and external form) y while 
in the third, or present period, the scales are re- 
versed, and the subjective is preponderant, the 
right of private judgment and the sense of personal 
responsibility having (among Protestants) almost 
entirely superseded the authority of the Church. 

§ 231. From these vicissitudes already realized, 
the author ingeniously prognosticates a fourth age, 
yet to come, in which the equilibrium shall be re- 
stored and afterwards maintained, not, as in the first 
age, by accident or special divine interposition, but 
by conscious co-operation of the Church itself, en- 
lightened by its previous experience. 

§ 232. Entirely different in form and principle, 
but equally ingenious and one-sided, is the ethnolo- 
gical distinction last proposed by Kurtz, and resting 
on the theory of three successive forms of civiliza- 


tion, tliroiigli wliicli the Cliiircli is to pass, tlie Ori 
ental (or ^ Jewisli), the Classical or (Greco-Eoman), 
and the Modern (or Germanic in the wide sense 
of the term including Anglo-Saxon) ; the first form 
corresponding to the Old Testament history and the 
beginning of the Apostolical ; the second reaching 
to the close of the eighth century ; and the third 
belonging to the Modern Ages, the Middle Ages 
being the transition from the Greco-Roman to the 
Germanic form of civilization, under which there 
are included intellectual culture and social condi- 

§ 233. As no one of these partial and one-sided 
views of the difference between the three great pe- 
riods is sufficient of itself to represent them to the 
mind, it may be well to combine the truth involved 
in them with what we know besides as to the char- 
acter of these three ages, in a general description. 

§ 234. The first great feature of the Ancient 
Period is the rapid simultaneous extension of the 
Church, and propagation of the gospel, in various 
directions, but with an impetus decreasing as we 
draw near to the Middle Ages. 

§ 235. Another is the long-continued state of 
persecution, followed by relief, patronage, establish- 


ment or union with the state, and finally enslave- 
ment by it and subjection to it. 

§ 236. A third characteristic is the gradual ex- 
pansion and development of church-organization, 
with an accompanying effort after outward unity, 
which seems at the close of the first age to be at- 
tained, by the consummation of the monarchical de- 
velopment in the primacy of Rome, or the com- 
mencement of the papal power, under Gregory the 

§ 237. A fourth feature of the Ancient Church 
is its conflict with error, first in the open and 
avowed hostility of Judaism and Heathenism, and 
then in the more covert and insidious enmity of her- 
esies, arising from the mixture of various forms of 
error with Christianity itself, leading, before the 
end of this first age, to the discussion and settlement 
of all the most essential doctrines on their present 

§ 238. The last characteristic of the First Age, 
is the absence of a fixed law or type of Christian 
experience, there being ample proof that personal re- 
ligion did exist and flourish, but with a freedom and 
variety of inner life peculiar to the times, including 


many eccentricities and aberrations, not without 
some tokens of incipient corruption. 

§ 239. The first great negative distinction of the 
Middle Age is this, that it originated nothing good, 
but only evil, while both good and bad things of an 
older date were still continued, although seldom 
without some exaggeration or corruption. 

§ 240. The unity which seemed to be secured by 
the erection of the papal see, begins immediately to 
be dissolved by means of the Great Schism between 
East and "West. 

§ 241. The theological or doctrinal distinction of 
the Middle Age, is the vast expenditure of thought 
and labor on the mere elaboration of results already 
gained in new and strange forms, more especially 
the mystic and scholastic, and the tendency to 
give these forms a stereotype or petrified rigidity, 
which, far from lessening or conciliating heresy 
and error, made them more numerous and desperate 
than ever. 

§ 242. Tlie worst peculiarity of this age is the 
vast increase of superstition in its various forms, 
with its invariable accompaniment, moral deprava- 
tion, both of theory and practice. 


§ 243. Its only redeeming or consolatory feature 
is tlie nnder-ciirrent of determined opposition to 
these evils, the reformatory tendency or movement, 
running through the Middle Ages, never entirely 
wanting, although varying in strength and clear- 
ness, sometimes appearing even in the dominant 
authorities, at others only among those who were 
regarded as opponents and directors, if not formally 
condemned as heretics and schismatics. 

§ 244. The first great feature of the Third or 
Modern Age is the reaction against these great evils, 
the secession of a large part of the Latin Church, 
and the assertion of the right of private judgment, 
with a more or less complete return to apostolical 
simplicity and purity, all which is summed up in 
the word Reformation. 

§ 245. Another feature not to be neglected, is 
the influence exerted by this great reaction on the 
residuary church itself for good and evil, for good 
in the correction of some errors and abuses, for evil 
in the aggravation and perpetuation of others. 

§ 246. The theology of this age, as distinguished 
from that of the two others, is learned and critical, 
with tendencies to scepticism, more or less deter- 


§ 247. Ill addition to tlie old division of the 
Greek and Latin Cliurchj and the new division of 
the latter introduced by the Eeformation, this 
period is characterized by further subdivisions, 
such as that of the Protestant body into Lutheran 
and Calvinistic ; and of these parts into others, by 
secession, disruption, or excision. 

§ 248. Besides this tendency to subdivision, 
springing from the use or abuse of the right of pri- 
vate judgment, within the pale of Christianity itself, 
the third age is distinguished by a rank growth of 
heresies, both old and new, and by a singular vari- 
ety of anti-Christian errors, or new forms of infidel- 
ity, disowning the authority of Scripture, and 
abandoning the Christian name. 

§ 249. An intermediate division between that 
of the Centuries and that of the Three Ages, may 
be obtained by grouj)ing the former, so as at the 
same time to divide the latter, not by arbitrary 
lines, but by discriminating things that really 

§ 250. Thus the Early Age, or Ancient History, 
may be equally divided, supposing it to consist of 
six centuries (§ 223), by a line drawn at the close of 
the third century ; the first half difiering from the 


second as a period of persecution from one of es- 
tablisiiment ; as a period of rapid from one of 
slower pro]3agation ; as a period during Avliich the 
cliurcli was working off heretical admixtures, from 
one in which it was positively settling the great 
doctrines of religion. 

§ 251. The seventh and eighth centuries may 
be regarded as a kind of debatable or neutral 
ground, like a lane, or narrow strip of litigated land 
between two farms, wdiich may be added to either 
w^ithout materially affecting any thing but its ex- 

§ 252. The divisions of the Middle Ages are not 
so obvious, but a definite basis for them is afforded 
by the extreme depression of the Church in the 
10th century, and by the premonitions of the Ee- 
formation in the 14th and 15th. 

§ 253. Upon this basis, the Middle Ages may 
be divided into three unequal parts ; the first in- 
cluding centuries YII. — X. (or, according to Hase 
and Kurtz IX.— .X) during which there was a grad- 
ual decline from the position of the ancient Church 
to its lowest condition in the 10th century ; the 
second including centuries XI. — ^XIII., during which 
there was a rise, but in a different direction, a new 


kind of activity and life, and during which the 
great peculiar movements of the Age, the Papacy, 
Scliolasticism, Monachism, reached their height and 
full development ; the third including centuries 
XI Y. — XY., during which these same great inter- 
ests declined, and the reformatory tendency grew 
proportionally strong and visible. Tliough the 
Last or Modern Age comprises only three and a 
half centuries, each of which has a character or as- 
pect of its own, it may still be divided into two 
larger portions, each of which has a distinctive 
character ; the first consisting of the 16th and 
17th, and characterized by the Reformation and 
its positive efi*ects, both on the Protestant and Un- 
reformed churches ; the other consisting of the 
18th and 19th, and characterized by the more 
negative effects of the same causes. (See below, 
§§ 273, 274.) 

§ 254. Besides all these divisions, it is w^ell to 
have some characteristic features of each century 
associated with it in the memory, the points se- 
lected being few in number, and, as. far as possible, 
peculiar to the periods with which they are con- 

§ 255. As a mnemonic aid, some use may be 
made of the Latin nomenclature commonly ascribed 


to Cave (§ 113), and more or less modified by later 
writers, viz., 1. Seculmn Apostolicum. 2. Gnosti- 
enm. 3. IS'ovatianum (v. Cyprianum). 4. Ari- 
anum. 5. ]^estorianum (Pelagiarum, v. Augustinia- 
num). 6. Entycliianum. 7. Monothleticum (v. 
Muhammedanicum). 8. Iconoclasticum. 9. Pho- 
tianum (v. Obscurum). 10. Obscnrum (v. Tene- 
brioscum). 11. Hildebrandicnm. 12. Waldense. 
13. Scholasticnm. 14. Wiclifianuin. 15. Syno- 
dale. 16. Reformatum. 

§ 256. In characterizing the first century more 
particularly, due regard must be had to its unique 
position, as the period of transition from an old to 
a new world, from the Jewish to the Christian 
Church, and from Biblical to Ecclesiastical History, 
only the smaller part of it belonging strictly to the 
latter, while the whole may be divided into three 
nearly equal parts, or into the ministries of John 
the Baptist and Jesus Christ, of Peter and Paul, 
and of the Apostle John ; with the additional as- 
sociated names of ITero and Domitian as persecu- 
tors, and of Simon Magus and Cerinthus as Here- 

§ 257. The second century presents the opening 
of the great twofold conflict of the Church, intellec- 
tual and physical, with persecution and brute force 


on one hand, on the other with Judaism and Hca- 
thenism as open enemies, and with heresies arising 
from their fusion or amalgamation with Christian 
doctrine ; both which conflicts may be associated 
with the names of Trajan and the Antonines as per- 
secutors ; Marcus Aurelius and Celsus as heathen 
opponents of the truth ; Ignatius, Polycarp, and 
Justin, as martyrs ; the latter also representing the 
Christian A]3ologists or champions of the truth 
against its heathen enemies, and the Christian Phi- 
losophers, or Platonizing theologians, whose ex- 
cesses partly caused the Gnostic heresies, of which 
the great opponent was Tertullian, though himself 
involved in the very different error of the Mon- 

§ 258. The third century is marked by its dis- 
ciplinary schisms, represented by ISTovatian ; its 
Catholicism, represented by Cyprian ; its Greek or 
Alexandrian theology and learning represented by 
Origen, who was also the most eminent opponent 
of the Monenchian heresies, to which may be added 
Manicheeism, as a doctrinal feature of the age. 

§ 259. The fourth century is marked by the end 
of persecution under Constantino ; the end of pagan- 
ism under Theodosiiis ; the disdsion of the empire 
between ]iis sons ; the first and second general 


councils, occasioned by the Arian and Semiarian 
heresies, of which the chief opponents were Atha- 
nasins and tlie three Cappadocian doctors (Basil 
and the Gregories), who also favoured and contrib- 
uted to propagate the new system of ascetic and mo- 
nastic life. 

§ 260. As prominent features of the fifth cen- 
tury may be named the Pelagian, Nestorian, and 
Eutychian heresies ; the third and fourth oecumenical 
councils, at which they were condemned ; Chrysos- 
tom, the greatest preacher, Augustin, the greatest 
theologian ; and Jerome, the greatest biblical 
scholar of the age ; the downfall of the western 
Koman empire ; and the conversion of the Franks 
to Christianity. 

§ 261. In the sixth century the series of contro- 
versies and of councils is continued by the Mono- 
physite error and the fifth oecumenical council ; 
while additional landmarks are aflbrded by the 
legislation and the conquests of Justinian, and by 
the full development of the hierarchy, in the foun- 
dation of the papal power under Gregory the First 
(or Great). 

§ 262. The series of ancient doctrinal controver- 
sies closes witli tliat of tlie Monothelites, and the 


series of ancient councils with tlie Sixth and the 
Quinisextum ; bnt a more important feature of the 
age is the rise and progress of Mahometanism. 

§ 263. This new religion made still further 
progress in the eight century by the Moorish con- 
quest of Spain, but w^as repelled from France by 
Charles Martel, whose son, Charlemagne, revived 
the Western Empire, and laid the foundation of the 
temporal power of the Pope by his donations ; 
while the Germans were brought within the pale of 
the Church chiefly by the labours of Boniface, 
thence called their Apostle. 

§ 264. In the ninth century, the new preten- 
sions of the Papal See were fortified by forged de- 
cretals, under the auspices of Nicolas L, who, also, 
interfered in the eastern strife detween Photius and 
Ignatius, and thus contributed to the great schism ; 
while the western church was agitated by the pre- 
destinarian controversy begun by Godescalcus, and 
the broaching of the doctrine of transubstantiation 
by Paschasius Eadbert ; the reformatory tendency 
being represented by Claudius of Turin. 

§ 265. The 10th century is the lowest depres- 
sion of the Church at large, and of the papacy in 
particular, which was a mere slave of political par- 


ties ; so that we have to look for great names to 
the world, such as Otho the Great in Germany, and 
Hugh Capet, the founder of a new dynasty in 
France ; a degradation only partially redeemed by 
the monastic organization of Clugny, and the nomi- 
nal conversion of the Scandinavian and Sclavonian 

§ 266. The 11th century opens with a gen- 
eral panic in relation to the end of the world, fol- 
lowed by a general reaction ; and with a partial 
restoration of the j)apacy by Gabert or Sylvester 
II. ; followed by some signs of intellectual life in 
the Berengarian controversy ; which is connected, 
in its turn, with the rise of Ilildebrand, afterwards 
Gregory YII., the founder of the papal theocracy, 
who carried it out in theory, and in practice as far 
as he was suffered by the violent resistance of the 
German Emperors, particularly Henry lY. > 

§ 267. The 12tli century is marked, on one 
hand, by its chivalry, crusades, and military orders ; 
on the other, by the conflict between mysticism and 
rationalism, represented by Bernard and Abelard ; 
the first development of scholastic theology, repre- 
sented by the " Sentences " of Peter Lombard ; and 
a new reformatory movement, represented by Peter 
Waldo, the reputed founder of the Waldenses ; 


while the new pretensions of the Papacy were man- 
fully sustained by Alexander III. 

§ 268. In the 13th century, all the great me- 
dieval interests were carried to their height ; the 
Papal Power by Innocent III. ; the Scholastic The- 
ology by Thomas Aquinas ; the Monastic Organi- 
zation by St. Francis and St. Dominic ; with the 
last of whom, or his immediate successors, we may 
associate the Inquisition. 

§ 269. In the 14:th century begins the de- 
cline of the scholastic theology, with a correspond- 
ing rise of mysticism ; the end of the Papal Tlie- 
ocracy with Boniface VIII., followed by the Baby- 
lonish Captivity and Papal schism ; the rise of a 
vernacular literature in Italy, connected with the 
great names of Dante and Petrarch ; and a power- 
ful attempt at reformation made by Wiclif and the 

§ 270. In the 15tli century, the same work is 
continued or renewed in Bohemia by John Huss 
and Jerome of Prague ; in France, by the Keform- 
ing School of Paris ; and in the church at large, 
by the great Reforming Councils, but without im- 
mediate success, although the great end was, more 
or less, promoted by certain secular events, such as 


the end of the Greek Empire, the Revival of Let- 
ters, the Invention of Printing, and the Discovery 
of America. 

§ 271. The great feature of the 16th century 
is the Reformation, in its two main branches, Ger- 
man and Swiss, together with its introduction into 
various countries ; whether temporary, as in Spain 
and Italy ; or partial, as in France, Hungary, and 
Southern Germany ; or permanent, as in Northern 
Germany, Holland, England, Scotland ; or exclu- 
sive, as in Sweden and Denmark ; while in the 
Unreformed Church, the great features are the Or- 
ganization of the Jesuits and the Council of Trent. 

§ 272. The 17th century is marked by the 
consolidation of the Protestant churches both in 
creed and discipline ; the religious war of Thirty 
Years, which ended in the establishment of Protes- 
tant rights at the Peace of Westphalia ; the Great 
Rebellion, Commonwealth, and English Revolu- 
tion, and the introduction of the church into Amer- 
ica by colonization. 

§ 273. The 18th century may be character- 
ized as a period of revival, revolution, and reac- 
tion, the prominent traits of which are Pietism, 
Moravianism, Methodism, Enc^lish Deism, French 


Philosophy, and German Kationalism ; the great 
Kevolutions of America and France. 

§ 274. The same features may be traced, 
through the first half of the 19th century, in the 
rise and fall of Napoleon ; the dismemberment of 
the Turkish Empire by the Greek Revolution, and 
of the Spanish Empire by that of Mexico and 
South America ; the second and third French revo- 
lutions, and the one now going on in China ; the 
disruption of the Scotch and several American 
churches ; the rise of Unitarianism, Universalism, 
Irvingism, Puseyism, Socialism, Communism, Mor- 
monism. Spiritualism ; while the great redeeming 
feature of the age is the frequent and extensive re- 
vival of religion, and the great benevolent move- 
ment in the Protestant churches for the circulation 
of the Scriptures, and diffusion of religious knowl- 
edge, reformation of morals, and eventual conver- 
sion of the world, by missionary enterprises, com- 
prehending in their scope Pagans, Mahometans, 
Jews, and those living under the corrupted forms 
of Christianity. 

§ 275. The centurial and other chronological 
arrangements, which proceed upon the principle of 
uniform conventional divisions, have been su- 
perseded, in thn modern schools of ecclesiastical 


historiography, by periodologies, or schemes made 
up of periods, defined, without regard to length or 
imiformity, by epochs, i. e. turning points or criti- 
cal junctures, where the current of events, or tide 
of history, reaches the high- water mark, and the re- 
flux or ebb begins. 

§ 276. If the tide or current, to pursue this 
figure, were a single one, or if the many currents 
reached their height at once, it would be easy to 
adopt one general and comprehensive periodology ; 
but as the high tide of one stream or coast is not 
necessarily or always that of every other, so the 
crises of history may be variously chosen, and the 
exercise of this choice by the modern writers, has 
led to a great diversity of periodologies, or actual 
arrangements founded on this principle. 

§ 277. Tlie exclusive use of any one pf these not 
only makes the others unavailable, but deprives us 
of the positive advantages attending their compara- 
tive or joint use, which are chiefly two ; first, in- 
creased facility in reading or referring to the words 
in which they are embodied ; and secondly, the aid 
which they afibrd in choosing epochs for ourselves, 
by showing what events have been pointed out as 
such by eminent historians. 


§ 2T8. In selecting from a multitude of perio- 
dologies, devised in modern times, especially in 
Germany, our choice may be guided by several 
distinct considerations, such as the celebrity or 
eminence of the inventor, the extensive use of the 
arrangement by others, and its intrinsic convenience 
or utility. 

§ 279. When thus selected, they may be ar- 
ranged for actual comj)arison, to most advantage, 
in the order of their dates, as this enables us to 
trace the gradual process by which they grew out 
of and improved upon each other. 

§ 280. It will be sufficient for our present pur- 
pose to confine our view, at least in the first in- 
stance, to the periodologies of Gieseler, ]S[eander, 
Guericke (Jacobi), Hase, Kurtz, and SchafiT, as 
fairly representing the improved modern methods, 
and afifording us the use of what is really most 
valuable in them all. 

§ 281. Among these, Gieseler is entitled to 
precedence, not only as one of the most eminent, 
but also as the oldest ; for although he speaks of 
the periodological method as already generally in- 
troduced, and of its ^actual results as already very 
various, it is easy to perceive from his own arrange- 


ment, that the previous attempts were compara- 
tively rude and unsuccessful. 

§ 282. In order to illustrate and exemplify the 
process by which all periodologies are framed, it 
may be well to give a more particular description 
of the one proposed by Gieselcr, than will be neces- 
sary in the case of any other, as the principle and 
modus ojperandi are substantially the same in all. 

§ 283. As a preliminary fact of some impor- 
tance, it may here be stated, that the modern peri- 
odologies vary from each other as to the terminus 
a qiLO or starting point of Ecclesiastical History ; 
some going back to the Apostolic Age, or to the 
Life of Christ, and even beyond his birth ; while 
others begin at the close of the ISTew Testament 
history, e. g. IN'eander, who has treated the Evan- 
gelical and Apostolical History in independent 
works. On this account, the terminus a qiiem will 
be considered as a variable line or point, and only 
stated where it is essential to the completeness or 
the symmetry of the arrangement. 

§ 284. The periodology of Gieselcr is deter- 
mined by the choice of three great turning points 
or junctures, which he designates as primary 
epochs : — I. The sole reign of Constantine, without 


a rival or a colleaguCj from the year 324. II. The 
outbreak of the Iconoclastic or Image Controversy 
in the year 726. III. The Keformation, from Lu- 
ther's first public acts as a Eeformer, in the year 

§ 285. Before and between these primary 
epochs, Gieseler assumes others, of less prominence, 
but still distinctly marked, in his opinion, as 
salient points and critical junctures. These are 
eight in number, equally distributed among the in- 
tervals already marked out by the others. 

§ 286. Anterior to the first great ej)ocli, the sole 
reign of Constantino, the minor or intermediate 
points are the accession of the Emperor Adrian 
(A. D. 117), and that of Septimius Severus (193). 
Between the first and second (the Iconoclastic con- 
troversy), he assumes, as secondary epochs, the 
Council of Chalcedon (451), and the Monothelite 
controversy, with the contemporaneous rise of the 
Mahometan religion (622). Between the second 
and third (the Eeformation), his subsidiary epochs 
are the Pontificate of ^Nicolas I., and the Pseudo- 
decretals forged with his connivance (858), and the 
transfer of the Papal See from Rome to Avignon 
(1035). Between his third grand epoch and his 
own time, he assumes, as intermediate points, the 


Peace of Westphalia (1648), and the fall of I^apo- 
leon (1814). 

§ 287. By the major and mmor epochs thus as- 
sumed, the whole field is divided into four great 
periods, and each of these subdivided into three 
others, making twelve in all 

§ 288. Gieseler's first great j)eriod extends from 
the beginning of the subject to the sole reign of 
Constantino (324) ; his second to the outbreak of 
the Image controversy (726) ; his third to the Ref- 
ormation (1517) ; his fourth to the date of his last 
volume (1848). 

§ 289. The first subdivision of his first great 
period ends with Adrian (117) ; the second with 
Septimius Severus (193) ; the third with Constan- 
tine (324). 

§ 290. The first subdivision of his second great 
period ends with the Council of Chalcedon (451) ; 
the second with Mahomet (622) ; the third with the 
Iconoclasts (726). 

§ 291. The first subdivision of his third great 
period ends with Mcolas I. (858) ; the second with 
the transfer of the Papal See to Avignon (1305) ; 
the third with the Eeformation (1517). 

11* ' 


§ 292. The first subdivision of his fourth great 
period ends with the peace of Westphalia (1648) ; 
the second with the fall of Napoleon (1814) ; the 
third with his own times (1848). 

§ 293. These subdivisions may be also arranged 
in a continued series, with some advantage to the 
eye and memory. 1. To Adrian (11 Y). 2. To Sep- 
timius Severus (193). 3. To Constantine (324). 
4. To the Council of Chalcedon (451). 5. To Ma- 
homet (622). 6. To the Iconoclasts (726). 7. To 
ISTicolas I. (858). 8. To the transfer of the Papal 
See (1305). 9. To the Eeformation (1517). 10. 
To the Peace of Westphalia (1648). 11. To the fall 
of Napoleon (1814). 12. To our own times (1848). 

§ 294. This periodology bears upon its face suf- 
ficient indications of its being an early, although 
not a first, attempt at such arrangements ; so that 
it has met with little currency among later writers, 
either as a whole, or with respect to some of its 
particular distinctions and divisions. 

§ 295. Specific faults, which have been charged 
upon it, are the excessive number of its subdivisions, 
and the arbitrary character of some of his distinc- 
tions ; for example, the selection of the Image Con- 
troversy as one of his great epochs, although less 


important in its general historical relations than 
some others which might have been selected ; and 
the same objection has been made to several of his 
subdivisions, for example, to the first, second, 
fourth, seventh, eighth. (§ 293.) 

§ 296. Few if any of these criticisms can be 
made upon Meander's Periodologj, which greatly 
excels Gieseler's in simplicity and symmetry, as 
well as in the choice of the particular divisions ; 
whether this superiority arises from his having de- 
signedly improved upon his predecessor, or, which 
is made more probable by the remarkable diversity 
between them, from an independent exercise of 
taste and judgment. 

§ 297. Instead of Gieseler's four great periods 
and twelve subdivisions, E'eander assumes six great 
periods, without any (chronological) subdivisions. 
His first period reaches to the end of the Diocletian 
Persecution, on the accession of Oonstantine the 
Great (A. D. 312) ; the second to the pontificate of 
Gregory the Great (590) ; the third to the death of 
Charlemagne (814) ; the fourth to Hildebrand or 
Gregory YH. (1073) ; the fifth to Boniface YIII. 
(1294) ; the sixth to Luther or the Reformation 


§ 298. Guericke, one of Meander's most faithful 
followers (§ 131), adopts his periods, completes 
them by adding, as a seventh, from the Reforma- 
tion to the date of his own last edition (1846), and 
groups the seven in three Ages, the first instance 
known to me of this arrangement. (§§ 213, 214). 

§ 299. Guericke's division into Ages is -unequal 
and irregular, assigning two of ITeander's periods to 
the first Age, four to the second, and making the 
third co-extensive with the seventh period, added 
by himself. 

§ 300. The same division into Ages is adopted 
by l!^eander's other follower and condenser, Jacobi, 
and the same subdivision of the first or Early Age, 
beyond which his published work has not yet gone. 
(§ 132.) 

§ 301. The next periodology, in point of time, 
is that of Hase, originally published a year after 
Guericke's, agreeing with it in the general distribu- 
tion, but exhibiting a great improvement on it in 
simplicity and symmetry, as might have been ex- 
pected from the tastes and habits of the author, 
who appears to care at least as much for manner as 
for matter, for the form as for the substance, of 
Church History. (§ 133.) 


§ 302. Hase, like Guericke, divides the whole 
into Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Church His- 
tory, but takes as the dividing line between the 
first and second, not the end of the sixth century, 
or the pontificate of Gregory the Great (590), but 
the institution of the German or new Western Em- 
pire by the coronation of Charlemagne (800). (See 
§ 224.) 

§ 303. Each of his ages or great periods is di- 
vided into two by a single intermediate epoch ; the 
first by Constantino (312) ; the second by Innocent 
III. (1216) ; the third by the Peace of "Westphalia 

§ 304. This periodology of Hase is adopted, 
with a slight modification, by another popular his- 
torian, Kurtz (§ 135), who, in his earlier and smaller 
works, down to the last edition (1856), divides into 
the same three Ages, but as a line of subdivision in 
the second, for the death of Innocent III. (1216), 
substitutes the accession of Boniface YIII. (1294), 
an epoch belonging to the same century, but mark- 
ing another stage in the progress of the papacy, 
and probably adopted for the sake of a closer 
assimilation to Neander's method. (§ 297.) 

§ 305. In Kurtz's larger work, which is not yet 


finislied, he adopts a different arrangement, founded 
on tlie theory of three civilizations (§ 232), accord- 
ing to which the work, so far as it has yet been 
published, and so far as it relates to Ecclesiastical 
History in the strict sense (§ 32), is divided into two 
great Phases, so called, and not Periods or Ages, 
because not entirely successive but to some extent 
collateral or parallel, and therefore properly de- 
scribed as Phases, or partly contemporary aspects 
of the same objective matter. 

§ 306. The first Phase, according to this scheme, 
is the developement of Christianity under the an- 
cient classic form of civilization, from the end of 
the Apostolic Age to the downfall of the Eastern 
or Greek Empire (1453). The second Phase is its 
developement under the medieval or Germanic form 
of civilization, from the fourth to the fifteeth centu- 
ry inclusive. 

§ 307. Each of these Phases is chronologically 
subdivided by two minor or intermediate lines ; 
the first by the end of the Diocletian persecution 
(312), and by that of the series of ancient councils 
(692) ; the second by the close of the ninth and 
twelfth centuries respectively. 

§ 308. The most finished of these modern peri- 



odologies, because combining the advantages and 
sliunning the defects of those which preceded it, is 
that of Schaff, in which the general arrangement is 
the same with that of Kurtz and Hase, and the 
subdivision no less symmetrical in form, while in 
fulness of detail it is neither so minute as Gieseler 
nor so measrre as Hase. 


§ 309. Schaff divides the whole into three Ages : 
I. The Primitive or Grseco-Latin Church, from Pen- 
tecost to Gregory the Great (590). 11. The Medi- 
eval Church, or Pomano-Germanic Catholicism, from 
Gregory the Great to Luther (151Y). III. Tlie Mod- 
ern or Evangelical Protestant Church, in conflict 
with the Church of Pome, from Luther to our own 
time (1853). 

§ 310. Each of these Ages he divides into three 
periods ; the first into the period of the Apostolical 
church until the death of John (100) ; that of the 
Persecuted Church to Constantine (311) ; and that 
of the Established Church of the Grseco-Koman 
Empire, to Gregory the Great (590). 

§ 311. The second he divides into the Kise of 
the Middle Age, or the planting of the church 
among the Germanic races, till the appearance of 
Hildebrand (1049) ; the Height of the Middle Age 


(Papacy, Monachism, Scholasticism, Mysticism), to 
Boniface YIII. (1303) ; and the decline of the Mid- 
dle Age, and prej)aration for approaching changes, 
nntil Lnther (151Y). 

§ 312. Tlie third he divides into the period of 
the Eeformation, or Productive Protestantism and 
Eeacting Romanism (century XYI.) ; that of Or- 
thodox-confessional and scholastic Protestantism, 
in conflict with ultramontane Jesuitism and semi- 
Protestant Jansenism (to the middle of century 
XYin.) ; and that of negative subjective Protest- 
antism — Rationalism and Sectarianism — with pre- 
monitions of a new or fourth age (to the middle of 
the 19th century). 

§ 313. These smaller periods, like those of Gies- 
eler (§ 293), may be also arranged in a continued 
series : 1. To the death of John (100). 2. To Con- 
stantino (311). 3. To Gregory the Great (590). 
4. To Hildebrand (1049). 5. To Boniface YIII. 
(1294). 6. To Luther (1517). 7. To the end of the 
16th century. 8. To the middle of the 18th. 9. To 
the middle of the 19th. 

§ 314. With these select ]3eriodologies, when 
thoroughly mastered and familiar, it may be im- 
proving to compare some others, in a more rapid, 


and less tliorongh manner, for the purpose of ob- 
serving botli their general agreement, and the 
points, whether great or small, in which they differ. 

§ 315. Engelhardt assnmes five great epochs, 
I. The conversion of Constantino, and conse- 
quent establishment of Christianity in the Roman 
Empire. II. The rise of Mahometanism, and con- 
sequent contraction of the Church, particularly in 
the East. III. Tlie reaction of the West against this 
hostile j)ower in the Crusades, and the elevation of 
the hierarchy to a monarchy. TV. The Reforma- 
tion, as the beginning of a new age and a thorough 
change throughout the Church. Y. The securing 
of the civil rights of Protestants, in the Peace of 
Westphalia as a condition of their free develope- 

§ 316. With these epochs he defines six periods : 
1. From Christ to Constantino (625). 2. From Con- 
stantino to Mahomet (600). 3. From Mahomet to 
Gregory YII. (1073). 4. From Gregory to Luther 
(1517). 5. From the Reformation to the Peace of 
Westphalia (1648). 6. From the Peace of West- 
phalia to his own time (1830). 

§ 317. The simplest periodology is that of 
Thiele, who assumes the three divisions which are 


common to almost all arrangements : I. From 
Christ to Constantine. II. From Constantino to 
Lntlier. III. From Liitlier to his own time (1840). 

§ 318. Lobegott Lange has periods, corre- 
sponding to as many stages in the progress of the 
hierarchy. The first extends to the Conncil of 
Nice (325) ; the second to the developement of the 
Eomish monocratical hierarchy, under Gregory the 
Great (590) ; the third to its completion nnder 
Gregory the Seventh (in the last third of the 
eleventh centnry) ; the fourth to its decline and fall 
in many states of Europe at the Reformation (in 
the first third of the sixteenth century) ; the fifth 
from the Reformation to his own time (1846). 

§ 319. Two of these periods are subdivided : 
the first into (1) the period of Primitive Christianity 
(Urchristenthum) until the developement of Ecclesi- 
astical Hierarchy, and (2) the interval between that 
and the developement of the Aristocratical Hierar- 
chy ; the fourth into the (1) Decline and (2) Fall of 
the Romish Monocratic Hierarchy. 

§ 320. Niedner, one of the most profound and 
accurate modern German Church Historians, but, at 
the same time, one of the most obscure and intri- 
cate, adopts the division into three great periods or 


Ages, but terminates the first in tlie middle of tlie 
eighth century, and the second at the end of the 
15th ; subdividing the three ages very unequally, 
the first, besides the Apostolical and earlier history, 
into (1) the conflict with Grasco-Roman heathenism 
(second and third centuries), (2) with oriental hea- 
thenism (fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries) ; (3) 
with Islam and Heathendom in tlie East and West 
(seventh and eighth centuries) ; the Second or Mid- 
dle Age into the Foundation of the Medieval 
Church (from the middle of the eighth to the mid- 
dle of the 11th century), its completion (from the 
middle of the 11th to the end of the 13th), and its 
decline (during the 14th and 15th) ; the Tliird or 
Modern Age into (1) the Eeformation, or the con- 
flict of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism 
(during the 16th century) ; (2) the Ecclesiastical 
and Doctrinal developement of both (to the middle 
of the 18th century) ; (3) the scientific and sceptical 
developement of Protestantism (to the middle of the 
19th century). 

§ 321. Lindner, a younger writer of great merit, 
assumes three Ages, the first being that of the de- 
velopement of Christianity in the Grseco-Roman form 
(during the first eight centuries) ; the second the 
strife of the Grseco-Roman and Germanic civilization 


(during the next seven centuries) ; the third the 
triumph of Germanic culture in the Eeformation 
(during the last three centuries). 

§ 322. He divides each age into two smaller 
periods, and characterizes each of these, first " po- 
litically," then " dogmatically ; " his first period, 
extending to 311, being that of the church under 
heathen persecution, and employed in excluding 
the Judaic and heathen element from its theology ; 
the second, extending to 814, that of its establish- 
ment and ultimate subjection to the state. 

§ 323. In the Middle Ages, his first period, ex- 
tending to 1294, is that of the subjection of the 
state to the church, and of the civil to the canon 
law^ and also that of the scholastic reproduction of 
theology, together with the first signs of reaction 
and reformatory movement ; his second period, ex- 
tending to 1517, is that of the emancipation of the 
state from the thraldom of the hierarchy, and the 
developement of nationalities, and also that of con- 
flict between the Roman and Germanic mind in 
doctrinal discussion, with still clearer marks of a 
reforming tendency. 

§ 324. In the third Age, Lindner's first division, 
extending to 1648, is the period of Protestant tri- 


umph over Popisli oppression, but subjection to the 
Protestant state, and of pnrified doctrine in conflict 
with Roman stiffness and enthusiastic laxity ; his 
second period is that of pietistical reaction against 
church and state, and effort after free organization, 
together with the conflict of the true doctrine with 
tlie extreme forms of pietism and rationalism. 

§ 325. Fricke retains the usual distinction of 
three Ages, but terminates the first at Charle- 
magne's original accession to the throne (Y68), and 
describes it as comprising the rise of Christianity 
till the settlement of the great doctrines and of the 
constitution in the form of papal monarchy ; the 
second as the period or age of doctrinal stagnation 
and of papal usurpation, with opposition and reac- 
tion, both in church and state ; the third as the age of 
advancing freedom and political security, popish re- 
action and revival, Protestant orthodox rigidity, and 
general effort after peace and union not yet realized. 

§ 326. The German Poman Catholic Church 
historian Abzog (§ 136) also adopts the favourite 
division into three Ages and six periods, the first 
age being that of the Church in the Grseco-Poman 
Empire, and comprising the first seven centuries ; 
the second that of the Church in the Germanic and 
Slavonic races, from the fourth to the 15th cen- 


tury, inclusive ; the third from the ^' Western 
Schism," as he calls the Reformation, to the present 
time. Tlie first age he divides, as nsual, by Con- 
stantino (313) ; the second he divides by the acces- 
sion of Gregory YII. (1073), and subdivides by the 
death of Charlemagne (814), and Boniface YIII. 
(1303) ; the third age he divides by the Peace of 
Westphalia (1648). 

§ 327. Yery different from this, and evidently 
calculated for the meridian of France not Germany, 
is the periodology of the ultramontane French his- 
torian Postel (§ 136), who assumes eleven periods, 
1. From Christ to Constantino (313). 2. To the 
fall of the Western Empire (476). 3. To Mahomet 
(622.) 4. To the death of Charlemagne (814). 
6. To the first crusade (1095). 6. To the death of 
St. Louis (1270). 7. To the fall of tlie Eastern 
Empire (1453). 8. To the close of the Council 
of Trent (1563), including the Reformation (§ 217). 
9. To the death of Louis XIY. (1715). 10. To the 
elevation of Pius YII. (1800). 11. To the eleva- 
tion of Pius IX. (1846). 

§ 328. Of the recent English writers on Church 
History (§ 141), Hardwick treats only of the Middle 
Ages and the Reformation ; Blunt of the first three 
centuries ; Robertson of the first six, w^hich he divides 


like N"eander, whoso periods are also adopted by 
Waddington. (§ 140.) 

§ 329. Somewhat different is the periodology of 
Palmer (§ 142), though he likewise assumes five 
great periods without subdivision : I. That of the 
Pure and Persecuted Church (to 320). II. That of 
Heresies and Holy CEcumenical Councils (to 680). 
III. That of Ignorance, "Worldliness, and Supersti- 
tion, with pious reaction and extensive conversions 
(to 1054). lY. That of Schism between the East 
and West, and of the height and decline of the 
Papal usurpation (to. 1517). Y. That of Refor- 
mation and Resistance, Schism and Infidelity (to 

§ 330. The periodolog}^ of Milman (§ 139), is 
confused by extreme minuteness and by complica- 
tion with a topical arrangement, so that it is not 
easily compared with those already mentioned, but 
deserves attention, not only on account of his gen- 
eral celebrity, but as a key to his two important 
works upon Church History. 

§ 331. Milman's first work (§ 139) extends from 
the birth of Christ to the abolition of Paganism in 
the Roman Empire, and is divided into books and 
chapters, partly on a chronical and partly on a 


topical method. His second work, the History of 
Latin Christianity, extends to the Pontificate of 
Nicolas Y. and is divided by the author into 
fourteen Periods, as he calls them, although some 
of them are not strictly Periods but Topics. 

§ 332. The first of these " Periods " extends to 
the Pontificate of Damasus and his two successors 
(366-401) ; the second to Leo the Great (461) ; the 
third to the death of Gregory the Great (604) ; the 
fourth to the coronation of Charlemagne (800) ; the 
fifth to the end of his dynasty (996) ; the sixth in- 
cludes the series of German PontifiTs (1061) ; the 
seventh that of Italian PontifiTs, beginning with 
Gregory YIL (1073) ; the eighth the strife about 
investiture (during the 12th century) ; the nintli 
the height of the Papacy, to the formation of the 
Canoii Law, under Gregory IX. (1238) ; the tenth 
the conflict of the Popes and Emperors (to the 
death of Innocent lY. 1254) ; the eleventh the tri- 
umph of the Papacy until broken under Boniface 
YIIL (who died 1303) ; the twelfth the Babylonian 
Captivity till 1370 ; the thirteenth the Papal schism, 
the reforming councils, and attempts at union with 
the Greeks ; the fourteenth medieval art and revi- 
val of letters. A concluding topic is the advance 
of reformation and the rivalry of Latin and Teu- 
tonic Cliristianity. 


§ 333. From tlie definition previously given (§ 
^75) of the periodological arrangement, it will be 
seen tliat it makes nse of epochs only to define its 
periods, as the surveyor plants his stakes for the 
purpose of his measurements or observations, and 
when these are finished, removes or leaves them, 
which he v/ould not if the stakes had an intrinsic 
value, or were useful for anotlier purpose. 

§ 334:. ISTow the epochs used in framing periodol- 
ogies are also valuable in themselves, or independ- 
ently of this use, as salient and turning points in 
history, to know which is a wide step towards the 
knowledge of the history itself^ but to select which 
the beginner is incompetent, unless assisted by the 
judgment of the best historians, as expressed in 
the selection of particular epochs as the basis or the 
framework of tlieir periodologies. 

§ 335. In order to apply them to this use, it will 
be found a salutary exercise to separate them from 
the periodologies of which they form a part, espe- 
cially ^vlien this is done, not by mere transcription 
or dictation, but by the personal exertions of the 
individual student, to encourage which the follow- 
ing suggestions are presented, drawn from personal 


§ 336. Let all the epochs be collected from as 
many distmct periodologies as may be thought de- 
sirable, for instance from the twenty which have 
been described in the preceding paragraphs (§§ 284 
-332) or from the six selected specimens first stated, 
and placed in a continued series, without reference 
to their position in the several periodological ar- 

§ 337. Then let this aggregate or gross amount be 
reduced by eliminating all that does not properly 
fall under the description of an epoch, as for instance 
when a century, or half a century, its first third, or 
its last third, are employed as periodological distinc- 
tions, these being not real epochs, but expedients 
borrowed from the old centurial method. 

§ 338. Let the list thus shortened be reduced 
still further by consolidating dates which really 
represent one epoch — such as the six dates in the 
reign of Constantino, his accession (311), his decrees 
of toleration (312, 313), the beginning of his sole 
reign (323, 324), and the first (Ecumenical Council 
(325) ; or the two dates in the life of Gregory the 
Great, his accession (590) and his death (604) ; or 
the corresponding points in the history of Boniface 
YIIL (1294 and 1303) ; or the three in that of Char- 
lemagne, his original accession (768), his coronation 


as Emperor (800), and his death (814) ; or the two 
ill that of Gregory YIL, his original appearance 
(1049), and his election to the Papacy (1073) ; or the 
two dates assigned to the beginning of the Keforma- 
tion (the beginning of the century and the year 

§ 339. The epochs thus reduced in number, may 
be then distributed by centuries, not as a permanent 
arrangement, but for the purpose of observing the 
difference between the centuries, as to the frequency 
or paucity of critical or turning points, some having 
none in the preceding poriodologies (viz. the 1st, 3d, 
and 12th), some only one (viz. the 6th, 10th, and 
17th), some two (viz. the 2d, 9th, 15th, l^th, and 
18th), some three (viz. the 8th and 14:th), some four 
(viz. the 5th, 7th, and 19th), some five (viz. the 11th 
and 13th), and one seven (viz. the 4:th, if every date 
be separately counted), but if all that really belong 
together be consolidated, only two. These differ- 
ences, although to some extent fortuitous, must have 
some basis in the true relations of the several cen- 
turies to one another. 

§ 340. Another method of comparison is to ob- 
serve how many of the given periodologies agree in 
recognizing any epoch, which may be regarded as 
an indicatir)Ti of the extent to which it is acknowl- 


edged by historians as a turning point or critical 

§ 3'i:l. By tlie application of tliis process to tlie 
periodologies wliicli have been described, it will be 
found that the Eeformation has a place in twelve, 
the reign of Constantino in ten, that of Charlemagne 
in nine, the pontificate of Boniface YIII. in eight, 
that of Gregory YII. in seven, that 'e'f Gregory the 
Great in six, and the Peace of Westphalia in an 
equal number. 

§ 342. ISText to the epochs which are thus found 
in from half a dozen to a dozen modern periodolo- 
gies, and may therefore be regarded as the most ex- 
tensively acknowledged, v/e may place a second 
class, containing such as have a place in three peri- 
odologies, as the third French Eevolution, or in 
two, as the ajDpearance of Mahomet in the seventh 
century, the close of the series of great councils 
near the end of the same, and the fall of the Greek 
Empire in the middle of the fifteenth. 

§ 34:3. To these two classes may be added a resid- 
uary class of indefinite extent, containing all those 
epochs which are found in only one periodology, 
and whicli are therefore recommended only by the 
voice of indiviflral liistorians, but wliich may never- 


theless be real junctures in the history, and therefore 
valuable aids in understanding and retaining it. 

§ 344. From the periodologies described above, 
omitting some dates whicli seem to be ill-chosen and 
unsuited to the end proposed, especially in Milman's 
list (§ 332), we may obtain the following residuary 
catalogue, arranged in chronological order. The 
reign of Adrian (117), Septimius Severus (193), Pon- 
tificate of Damasus (366), Council of Chalcedon 
(451), Leo the Great (461), Fall of the Western Em- 
pire (476), Iconoclasm (726), Nicolas I. (858), End 
of Carlovingian Dynasty (996), Breach between 
East and West (1054), First Crusade (1095), Death 
of Innocent III. (1216), Gregory IX. and the Canon 
Law' (1238), Death of St. Louis (1270), Babylonish 
Captivity (1305), Papal Schism (1375), End of Tri- 
dentine Council (1563), Death of Louis XIY. (1715), 
Accession of Pius YIL (1800), Fall of Napoleon 
(1814), Second French Kevolution (1830), Accession 
of Pius IX. (1846). 

§ 345. The best mode of using the epochs thus 
arranged and classed, is first to master those of the 
first order, as most generally recognized ; and then, 
when these are perfectly familiar, to pursue the 
same course with the second, after which the resid- 


uaiy class can be gradually added, and at the same 
time indefinitely enlarged. . • 

§ 346. Another useful method of the same kind 
is to frame successively lists or tables, each contain- 
ing nineteen dates, or one for every century, the 
choice of which, if made by the student himself, in- 
volves an exercise of mind which must be useful in 
proportion to the difficulties that attend it. 

§ 347. The following may be taken as a specimen 
of such a table, not to be permanently rested in^ 
but often and indefinitely varied. Century I. the 
fall of Jerusalem (70), II. Martyrdom of Justin (163), 
III. Decian Persecution (250), TV. Council of Nice 
(325), y. Fall of Western Empire (476), YI. Greg- 
ory the Great (590), YII. Mahomet (622), YIII. 
Iconoclasm (726), IX. Death of Charlemagne 
(814), X. Accession of Otho the Great (936), XL 
Gregory YII. (1073), XII. Alexander III. (1159), 
XIII. Boniface YIII. (1294), XIY. Wiclif (136p), 
XY. Fall of Eastern Empire (1453), XYI. Luther 
(1517), XYII. Peace of Westphalia (1648), XYIIL 
Wesley (1732), XIX. Fall of Napoleon (1814). 

§ 348. When the points in such a list are really 
salient, they will indicate, in some degree, the great 
changes as they follow one another ; as for instance 


In the table just presented, although not framed 
with any such design, we iind martyrdom (century 
II.) and persecution (III.) followed by the first 
(Ecumenical Council (lY.) ; the degradation of the 
Church in the ninth and 10th centuries suggested 
by the choice of emperors to represent them ; the 
subsequent rise of the papacy by the choice of 
three popes to represent as many centuries (XI. 
XII. XIII.), its decline and the growth of the refor- 
matory tendency, by the position here assigned to 
Wiclif(XIY.), &c., &c. 

§ 31:9. Such tables may be constructed either on 
the principle of varying the epochs, i. e. choosing 
sometimes one kind of event and then another ; or 
on that of sameness, making all the points in any 
given table similar to one another, e. g. making out 
a series of great councils or assemblies, beginning 
with the Council at Jerusalem in the first century, 
and ending with the First Free Church Assembly 
in the nineteenth ; or, finally, avoiding both ex- 
tremes, as in the specimen first given. 

§ 350. The materials for such lists may be drawn, 
in the first instance, from the periodologies already 
given ; then from the topical details to be given 
hereafter ; thirdly, from books of history, whether 
thoroughly studied or skimmed over for this very 


purpose ; and lastly from the clironological tables, 
found in most such books or elsewhere, which last, 
however, unless used with moderation, will deprive 
the student of the benefit arising from his own exer- 

§ 351. Having taken our first or chronological 
survey of the whole field, we may now j)roceed, in exe- 
cution of our plan (§ 207), to the second or topical sur- 
vey of the same ground, beginning, as before, with 
the definition of terms, suggested by their etymology. 

§ 352. From the Greek t6ito<:; meaning place^ 
comes (1) the adjective topical, used in medicine as 
the equivalent of local, from the Latin locus, and (2) 
the noun topic, applied by the ancient writers in a pe- 
culiar technical sense to certain parts of rhetoric and 
logic, as in the topics of Aristotle and Cicero, and 
in theology to the usual divisions {loci communes) 
of the system of doctrine (whence our popular usage 
of commonplace for that which is familiar, trite, or 
hackneyed), but in history and other sciences to their 
subdivisions or constituent parts. 

§ 353. The name is not ]3roperly applied to insu- 
lated facts, as such considered, which are rather 
anecdotes, in the technical sense of the term, as de- 
noting, primarily, inedited, unpublished facts, and 


then detached or separate historical materials ; the 
accessory idea of something humorous or entertain- 
ing being altogether popular and adventitious. 

§ 354. The same fact or event which, in itself 
considered, is an anecdote^ as just defined, may be a 
topic when regarded as holding a specific place in 
history considered as a systematic whole. 

§ 355. But although the meaning of the word 
has been determined, a question still presents itself, 
in reference to the thing which it denotes. What 
constitutes a topic ? and how are the topics of 
Church History in particular to be determined ? 

§ 356. Not every individual fact — nor even every 
great event — can be regarded as constituting a dis- 
tinct historical topic ; because such fact or event 
may be inseparable from others, or at least from its 
own minor and accompanying circumstances ; just 
as in a landscape, a particular object, as a tree or 
house, may be so situated with respect to others, 
that it cannot be surveyed apart, or constitute a 
separate object of vision. This is sometimes true 
of a whole series of successive events or a whole 
congeries of contemporary facts, which must be 
viewed together, in order to constitute a definite 
historical topic. 


§ 357. We may now complete tlie definition of 
a topic, so far as it is necessary for our purpose, as 
a fact, or a series or a group of facts, forming one 
definite object of historical investigation, and occu- 
pying a definite place in history, considered as a 
systematic whole. 

§ 358. The essential element in this complex idea, 
that of distinct objectivity, may vary in the case of 
difi'erent persons, some being able or accustomed to 
take in more at a single view than others ; so that 
no selection or arrangement of topics is to be re- 
garded as alone admissible exclusively of every 

§ 359. Even in one and the same topical arrange- 
ment, it is best not to aim at an exact uniformity, 
either in quantity or quality, but to let it be con- 
trolled by circumstances, the topic being sometimes 
one event, such as the death of Julius Csesar, and 
at other times a series or system of events, such as 
the Eeformation or the French Eevolution. 

§ 360. This liberty of choice, and flexibility of 
method, far from being a defect or disadvantage, as 
compared with mathematical rigour and exactness, is 
one of the great charms of historical study, and its 
loss one of the worst effects of all exclusive methods. 


§ 361. There are two methods of selecting and 
arranging historical topics, which may be distin- 
guished as the Analytic and Synthetic, in the strict 
etymological sense and application of those terms. 

§ 362. Tlie synthetic method begins with the 
minute details, and groups them, first in smaller, 
then in larger combinations, so as finally to form 
great masses ; while the analytic method takes these 
masses, and divides and subdivides, eliminates and 
simplifies, until it reaches the constituent elements 
with which the synthesis began. 

§ 363. "While both these processes are useful in 
their proper place, and may be both employed al- 
ternately, though not together, the last is better 
suited to our purpose, since by descending from 
generals to particulars, a basis is secured for the fu- 
ture study of details ; whereas minute attention to 
the latter could extend to but a few, even of these, 
without imparting any general views whatever. 

§ 364. For the study of a lifetime, or for original 
investigations, similar to those of Gieseler or JSTean- 
der, the synthetic method may be best, but not for 
a brief academical course, wholly preparatory in its 


§ 365. Another distinction which may possibly 
be useful is, that between two ways of viewing the 
particular topics when determined or selected ; 
either, on the one hand, as mere subdivisions of an 
organic whole, without individual vitality or sepa- 
rate existence, like the counties in a State, or the 
departments in France ; or, on the other hand, as 
so many organic wholes, forming a greater whole 
by federal combination, like the Swiss cantons or 
the States of our Union. 

§ 366. Though both these views involve some 
truth, and may be turned to good account, the first 
is better suited to the exact sciences than to history, 
which consists in the aggregation of innumerable 
facts, not necessarily dependent on each other, and 
yet all related, and susceptible of rational as well as 
arbitrary combination. 

§ 367. Instead, therefore, of assuming certain 
periods, and then cutting these into strips or slices 
by a uniform or rubrical division, we may let each 
topic reach as far as it will, or as we find conven- 
ient, using chronological divisions, not to cut them 
up, but simply to mark the surface, like the shadow 
on a dial. 

§ 368. Ecclesiastical History, thus viewed, is a 


congeries of minor liistories, each of whicli is, in a 
certain sense, complete within itself, bnt in another 
sense, incomplete without the rest. 

§ 369. The nnmber, size, and form of these 
minor histories is not determined by the nature of 
the subject, or bj any other extrinsic necessity, but 
is variable and discretionary, so that no exclusive 
method is either practicable or desirable. 

§ 370. So great is this variety and liberty of 
combination, that the same event may enter into 
more than one of these particular histories, or may 
be treated both as a separate topic and as a compo- 
nent of one more extensive. 

§ 371. It would be easy to divide the whole 
field of Ecclesiastical History into a few great topics 
or minor histories, running through its entire chron- 
ological dimensions ; such as the history of Mis- 
sions or of Church Extension, that of Church Or- 
ganization, that of Doctrine, &c. But this would 
be only a slight modification of the rubrical meth- 
od, on a larger scale, and therefore more unmanage- 
able than when divided into centuries or periods. 

§ 372. The same objection does not lie against 
some other similar divisions, such as the biographi- 
cal division into lives, or personal histories, or that 


into the liistoiy of Councils, Controversies, Churches; 
all which have their own advantages, but none of 
which can possibly be made to comprehend all 
the materials or topics of Church History. 

§ 373. The best method therefore is, instead of 
any uniform and rigid rule of distribution and 
arrangement, to select the topics for ourselves, tak- 
ing sometimes one event and sometimes many, as 
the subject of investigation, and dividing and com- 
bining them to suit our own convenience, and the 
end which we have immediately in view. 

§ 374. The general arrangement must of course 
be chronological ; because all history, from its very 
nature, is so ; because this order throws the most 
light on the mutual relation of events ; and because 
it gives the most aid to the student's memory. 

§ 375. In selecting the topics of Ecclesiastical 
History, it is best to begin with some connecting 
link between it and Biblical History — some event 
wdiose causes reach back and their effects forward, 
so as to touch both great divisions of the subject. 

§ 376. Such an event is the destruction of Jeru- 
salem, A. D. 70, only six or seven years after the 
close of the New Testament history, and yet many 
years before the probable date of the Apocalypse. 


§ 377. But besides its date, it is also recom- 
mended bj tlie connection of its causes and effects 
witli tlie liistoiy of the Cliurcli. 

§ 378. The proximate causes of this great catas- 
trophe were the growing fanaticism and insubordi- 
nation of the zealots, on one hand, and the cowardly 
but cruel domination of the Roman procurators on 
the other ; both which causes seem to have grown 
worse and worse after the death of Christ, as if in 
execution of a special divine judgment. 

§ 379. Our principal authority in reference to 
this great event is Flavins Josephus, a Jew of 
sacerdotal lineage, and a commander in the Jewish 
w^ar, but afterwards highly favoured by the Komans, 
and therefore accused by his own people of apos- 
tasy, and regarded by many Christians also as un- 
worthy of belief, while others go to the oj^posite 
extreme of preferring his testimony to that of the 
Scriptures ; the truth, as usual in such cases, lying 
between the two. 

§ 380. The providential instruments of this 
destruction were the Roman armies, first under 
Yespasian, and when he was recalled to Rome by 
the death of Yitellius, under his son Titus, the 
delicise humani generis, who used to say " Perdidi 


diem " when he had performed no act of beneficence ; 
a character probably exaggerated by the heathen 
writers, and measured by the heathen standard, but 
the comparative excellence of which is proved by 
his conduct in this siege, when Jews and Gentiles 
seemed to have changed places, the impious despe- 
ration of the former being strangely contrasted with 
the moderation and humanity of Titus. 

§ 381. The details of this event may be found 
in Josephus, Prideaux, Milman, Kurtz, and others ; 
we are concerned only with its religious and eccle- 
siastical efi'ects. 

§ 382. Its effects upon the Jews has reference 
to their government, their religion, and their per- 

§ 383. The political effect was to destroy the 
Hebrew state or commonwealth, virtually at once, 
finally and formally, under Adrian, when an insur- 
rection, under a false Messiah, called Barlochba, 
led to the demolition of the city, the erection of 
another under the name of Capitolina, and the ex- 
pulsion of the Jews from Palestine, since which 
time they have had no existence as a nation or a 
body politic. 

§ 384. As the Hebrew Church was a theocracy, 


in wliicli cluircli and state were not only united but 
identified, the Jewish religion, as distinguished 
from the Christian, fell \^ith the state, having no 
local sanctuary, and the ceremonial service being 
almost entirely abandoned ; Providence thus stam^)- 
ing Jewish unbelief as not only wicked but aljsurd, 
by making the continuance of the temporary sys- 
tem practically impossible. 

§ 385. It was not an exchange of ceremonial for 
spiritual worship, since this existed before, and the 
Jews themselves admit the continued obligation of 
the former, and expect its restoration under the 

§ 386. A third effect upon the Jews was the 
cessation of their persecutions, the spirit of which 
however was perpetuated in their schools and con- 
troversies, with a rancour which has been abun- 
dantly repaid by Christians. 

§ 387. The primary effect of the destruction of 
Jerusalem on the Christian Church was to put an 
end to the Judaic controversy, by rendering the 
observance of the Jewish law impossible. 

§ 388. Some Jewish Christians still adhered to 
it, with more or less tenacity, and thus gave rise to 


Jewish-Christian sects, the first of which we have 
any information. 

§ 389. These were distinguished from the body 
of Christians by their observance of the law, and 
from tlie Jews by owning the Messiahship of Jesus. 

§ 390. They difi'ered among themselves as to the 
necessity of the law, the person of Christ, and the 
authority of Paul. 

§ 391. Some denied the absolute necessity of the 
law ; some affirmed it only of Jewish converts ; 
while others made it absolute and universal. 

§ 392. Some regarded Christ as a mere man, 
others as something more, pretcrnaturally born, and 
endow^ed with extraordinary gifts ; others as a di- 
vine person. 

§ 393. Some rejected Paul as an apostate, others 
owned him as an apostle. 

§ 394. Our information as to these Jewish Chris- 
tians is derrived from Justin Martyr, Irenseus, Ter- 
tullian, Origen, Epiphanius, and Jerome : but it is 
very fragmentary and obscure. 

§ 395. It is common to assume two sects, differ- 
ing in the intensity of their Judaic prejudices, the 
iN'asareans and Ebionites. 


§ 396. The l^asareaiis or Nazarenes, a name ori- 
ginally given to all followers of CIiri:=t (Acts 24, 6), 
were the less Jewish class, who held the lowest views 
as to the law, and the highest as to Christ and Paul. 

§ 397. The name of Ebionite is derived by Ter- 
tnllian from a man named Ebion, a very common 
ancient practice when tlie real derivation w^as un- 
known ; but by Origen more correctly from the 
Hebrew "ji^bx poor ; whether assumed by them- 
selves as being " poor in spirit," or the Lord's 
Poor (like the Panperes of the Middle Ages) ; or 
given in contempt by others, as belonging to the 
lower orders, or perhaps with reference to the pov- 
erty of the Mother Church, which some ascribe to 
the community of goods. 

§ 398. The Ebionites were the more Jewish class, 
who held the lowest views of Christ and Paul, and 
insisted on the observance of the law as necessary 
to salvation. 

§ 399. "When they arose is not positively known, 
perhaps immediately after the destruction of Jeru- 
salem — they were still in existence in the second 
century — ^perhaj)s much longer, and perhaps were 
merged in other sects (e. g. the Elcesaites). 

§ 400. The gospel of the Xasareans and Ebion- 


ites is mentioned by tlie Fathers, but whetlier as a 
creed or as a book is uncertain. Some identify it 
with the Gospel of the Hebrews, and others with the 
original of Matthew ; which leads us to another topic. 

§ 401. Second connecting link — Definition of 
Ecclesiastical History (§§ 32, 33). — Terminus a quo 
— close of history in Canon. Hence the question — 
When was the Canon closed? Details belong to 
Introduction — or to E"ew Testament History — but 
outlines to beginning of Ecclesiastical History. 

§ 402. Objective close of Canon — wdien last 
book written — reign of Domitian — 'near the end t)f 
the first century. — Subjective close of the Canon — 
when the question was finally determined in and by 
the Church. 

§ 403. Eusebian classification — A. Homologu- 
mena — 4 Gospels — Acts — 13 Epistles of Paul — 1 of 
Peter — 1 of John. B. Antilegomena — {a) Hebrews 
(but only as to authors), ip) Apocalypse — first 
owned — then disowned by rationalists and anti- 
chiliasts — then re-owned, (c) James (considered by 
some antipauline) — 2d Peter — 2d and 3d Jolm — 
Jude — all short, and little quotable matter. C, 
Notha — wholly apocryphal and spurious. 

§ 404. Doubts gradually cleared up — Church 


became unanimous — not by authority of councils 
— these as yet only local — and mere witnesses — not 
judges — special Council of Laodicea (A. D. 360)-^ 
and Council of Hippo (393)— our present Canon, 
established by the 3d Council at Carthage (397). 

§ 405. E'ot a mere passive acquiescence — or ran- 
dom choice — modern German fallacy — criticism 
unknown to the ancient Church — one of its most 
important functions — to separate the Canon from the 
mass of competitors — the vo'^a of Eusebius (§ 403). 

§ 406. These of early origin— even Luke alludes 
to previous unauthorized attempts to write the Life 
of Christ — though not necessarily false — yet such 
would naturally spring up with the true. But 

§ 407. Apocryphal literature flourished chiefly 
in the second century — much of it now lost — but 
enough left to show its character and origin — which 
was chiefly heretical — a rank growth from the soil 
of error — sp. Jewish-Christian sects and gnostics — 
Epiphanius speaks of '' thousands " of gnostic apoc- 
rypha — ^Irengeus (more j udicious, moderate, and an- 
cient) of an " inenarrabilis multitudo apocrypho- 
rum et perperum Scripturarum," among the Yalen- 
tinians alone. 

§ 408. Some not licretical — only pious frauds — 


vaticinia post eventiim — or intended to fill chasms 
in Canonical books — now impossible — but then fa- 
cilitated by unsettled Canon. 

§ 409. Some claimed a place in Old Testament 
— some in 'New Testament Canon — Aj)ociyphal 
Gospels — Acts — Epistles — Apocalypses — Principal 
collective editors — Fabricius — Thilo — ^Tischend orf. 

§ 410. Classification of Apocryphal Gospels — I. 
Tliose claiming to be complete histories of Christ, 
e. g. Gospel of the Hebrews — Peter — the Egyptians 
— Marcion — All probably heretical corruptions of 
the 4 canonical gospels. All now lost. 

§ 411. II. Supplementary Gospels — (1.) Of the 
infancy of Christ, e. g. (a) Protevangelium Jacobi 
Minoris — ^early history of Virgin — birth of Christ — 
comparatively simple and without exaggeration — 
Greek like that of the J^ew Testament — Date very 
early — read at the festivals of Mary in the Eastern 

§ 412. (2.) Evangelium Nativitatis Marise — same 
general character — Latin preface by two bishops 
represents Matthew as the author — and Jerome as 
the translator. Collection of very old aprocryphal 


§ 413. 3. Gospel of Joachim and Anna — paren- 
tage and birtli of Virgin — infancy of Christ — flight to 
Egypt — infant miracles — Latin — ^purports to be by 
James. This also a collection of still older legends. 

§ 414. 4. Gospel of Joseph the carpenter — Ara- 
bic translated from the Coptic — Life and death of 
Joseph — Moralizing — probably not older than the 
fourth century. 

§ 415. 5. Gospel of Christ's infancy — Arabic 
translation from Syriac — full of absurd miracles. 
C. Gospel of Thomas — Life of Christ from fifth to 
twelfth year — still more extravagant and silly. 

§ 416. I. Supplementary accounts of his Passion, 
e. g. (1.) Gospel of Mcodemus — written in Greek — 
formal record of trial before Pilate — and resurrec- 
tion of t^vo sons of Simeon — dated in reign of The- 
odosius — ^first part purports to be derived from He- 
brew work of Nicodemus — second part from older 
apocrypha — First mentioned in 13th century. 

§ 417. (2.) Acts of Pilate — {a) such a book men- 
tioned by Justin Martyr — ^TertuUian — Eusebius — 
Epiphanius — Pilate's report concerning Christ to 
Tiberius ; with Tiberius's proposition to the Senate 
and letter to ]iis mother — {h) Under Maxirain — a 


heathen forgery — same title — blashpemous calum- 
nies of Christ — read in schools by order of empe- 
ror — {c) A third book — same title — still extant — 
much later — Latin report of Pilate to Tiberius — 
with account of Pilate's punishment — also Epistle 
of Lentulus to Senate — with minute descrij)tion 
of Christ's, person — first mentioned in the Middle 

§ 418. II. Apocryphal acts — mostly of gnostic 
origin — numerous in third and fourth centuries — 
13 in Tischendorf's collection — chiefly of the third 
century — some re- written w^ith modification of gnos- 
ticism — all worthless — latest and largest — Ilistoria 
Certaminis Apostolorum — purports to be written in 
Hebrew by Abdias, disciple of the Apostles and 
first Bishop of Babylon — Greek by Eutropius — and 
Latin by Julius Africanus — really not older than 
ninth century — found in the 16th century — rejected 
by Paul lY. — Baronius, Bellarmin, and Tillemont. 

§ 419. III. Apocryphal Epistles — {a) Christ and 
Abgarus — King of Edessa — preserved in archives — 
seen there by Eusebius — request to be healed — 
promise to send disciple — (h) Paul to the Laodi- 
ceans (Col. 4, 16), — only in Latin — a mere cento of 
scriptural phrases — {c) Paul to the Corinthians (1 
Cor. 5, 9), with their answer, both extant in Arme- 


nian — {d) Paul to Seneca — old tradition of corres- 
pondence (Augustine and Jerome) — 13 short letters 
extant — ie) letter of Ignatius to Yirgin Mary — ask- 
ing information about Christ — and her answer re- 
ferring him to John — first mentioned by Bernard in 
12th century — {f) letters of the Yirgin to the people 
of Messina, Florence, &c. 

§420. lY. Apocryphal Apocalypses. (1.) Of Pe- 
ter (Clem. Alex.) signs of judgment — (2.) Ascension 
of Paul (2 Cor. 12,) Aug. " fabulis plena stultis- 
sima praBsumtione." Epiphanius eays Cainite (3.) 
Thomas — (4.) Stephen — (5.) another of John — all 
wretched copies of canonical Apocalypse. 

§ 421. Y. Apocryphal prophecies. (1.) Old Tes- 
tament, {a) Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs — • 
Imitation of Gen. 49 — Mysteries of the other 
world — Prophecies of Christ — rejection of Jews — 
fine style — mentioned by Origen — (Z>) Apocalypse 
of Moses — only two quotations in Syncellus — rejects 
circumcision — {c) Ascension of Isaiah — Imitations 
of Paul's conversation with Angel — Messianic Pro- 
phecies — Quoted by Origen, Epiphanius — Jerome — 
Greek lost — Latin version extant at Yenice — Ethi- 
opic at Oxford. 

§ 422. (2.) Heathen prophecies — {a) Sibylline 


books — Etymology of name {Ilio<; [Doric for Aibs;} 
BovXrj) — Yarro quoted by Lactantins — ^Ten Sibyls 
— Chief at Cuma — Tarquin — 3 books — burnt in 
Capitol — nncler Marius and Sylla (B. C. 183) — re- 
placed by collection — bm-nt again under ISTero (A. D. 
64) — Sibylline books now extant — Homeric verse 
— by daughter-in-law of ISToah — evidently by Chris- 
tians — prophecies of Christ and Antichrist — ^Rome 
— Churcli — end of world — eruption of Yesuvius 
(A. D. 79) — sign of judgment — Nero's reappearance 
— Something later — gradual collection — second and 
third centuries — cited by Apologists — hence called 
Sibyllists — Celsus charged with forging — Disap- 
peared with Paganism in fourth century — reap- 
peared in 16th — only eight known till Mai discov- 
ered xi.-xiv.— best edition Alexandre's (1842) — (b) 
Hystaspes (Gushtasp) old Persian King — Christian 
prophecies — quoted by Justin Martyr and Clem. 
Alex. — {c) Hermes Trismegistus — Egyptian sage. 

§ 423. lY. Disciplinary Pseud epigrapha — in- 
tended to give apostolical authority to ecclesiastical 
usages of third and fourth centuries — (1.) Apostoli- 
cal polity or discipline — in Greek, third century — 
Acts of Apostolical Council — All exhort and legis- 
late — Cephas besides Peter — also Martha and Mary 
— Part as old as beginning of second century ? 


§ 424:. (2.) Apostolical Constitutions — eight books 
— duties of laity and clergy — worship — widows and 
deaconesses — treatment of poor — martyrs — festi- 
vals — heresies — Mosaic law^ — liturgy — chari smata 
— ordinations — tythes — six books form one whole — 
called " Apostolic doctrine " in old versions — and 
in book itself — not ultra hierarchical — seventh and 
eighth each complete in itself — internal evidence of 
Syrian origin — last of third century — or beginning 
of fourth — Earlier than Council of ITice — quoted 
by Eusebius and Athanasius as " Doctrine of Apos- 
tles " — Cited as authority by Epiphanius — rejected 
by Concilium Quinisextum (692) as corrupted — but 
received in Eastern Church — unknown in West till 
16th century — rejected by Baronius and Daille — 
now generally given up. 

§ 423. (3.) Apostolical Canons — Appendix to 
Constitutions (§ 421), but also in separate form — 
Greek — Syriac — Ethiopic — Arabic — Longer form 
85 canons — shorter 50 — peremptory tone — apostoli- 
cal authority — not doctrinal but disciplinary — made 
known in West by Dionysius Exiguus (end of fifth 
century) — rejected as apocryphal by Pope Ilormis- 
das— gradually current — recognized by Pseudo Isi- 
dore in East — imposed by Concilium Quinisextum. 

§ 426. All this illustrates history of canon — 


shows critical process — N'ew Testament homogene- 
ous — and superior — not only to apocrypha and 
pseudepigrapha — but to 

§ 427. Apostolical Fathers — third connecting 
link — earliest uninspired Christian writers — contem- 
poraries and disciples of Apostles ; Mark and Luke 
excluded as inspired. 

§ 428. Simplicity and piety — without inspira- 
tion — divine or human — Hence genuineness of ex- 
tant writings questioned — because early disposition 
to claim apostolical origin for later usages and doc- 
trines (§ 423) — no canon to prevent such frauds — 
not affecting rule of faith. 

§ 429. But on the other hand — modern disposi- 
tion to exaggerate critical misgivings — Too much 
expected from Apostolical Fathers — whereas great 
gulf— immense descent from Apostles to Apostolical 

§ 430. Guericke says this surprising only to Pa- 
pists, who think successors no less inspired than 
Apostles, or to Rationalists, wdio think Apostles no 
more inspired than successors. 

§ 431. Providential purpose of this inequality — 
to draw a broad line between the canon and all 


other writings. If Origen, Athanasius, or Aiigiistin 
had immediately succeeded the Apostles — they 
might have rivalled them — but this prevented by a 
pause — during which the life of the Church was 
rather practical than intellectual. 

§ 432. Collective edition of Cotelerius — recent 
one of Hefele. Translation by Archbishop Wake ; 
number usually reckoned seven — three disciples of 
Paul — three of John — and one anonymous — Paul 
as Apostle of Gentiles — John as last survivor. 

§ 433. I. School of Paul — all supposed to be 
named in his epistles. — 1. Clemens Romanus (Phil. 
4. 3) — early bishop — and martyr (Ruiinus) — (<^) Epis- 
tle to Corinthians — in Greek — exhortation to union 
and humility — read in churches — then lost sight of 
— 1628— Codex Alexandrinus — with LXX. and E'ew 
Testament — presented by Cyril Lucaris to Charles 
I. — ib) Same manuscnpt, fragment of second epistle 
to Corinthians — but no epistle — and probably not 
by Clement. — {c) Pseudepigrapha — {d) Apostolical 
Constitutions and Canons, (§§ 424, 425). — {e) Cle- 
mentina and Eecognitions. — (/*) Some pseudode- 

§ 434. (2.) Barnabas — named in Galatians and 
Acts — one epistle extant — knoAvn to Clement of 


Alexandria — lost since ninth centnry — found in ITtli 
— ^first fonr and a half chapters only in old Latin ver- 
sion — allegorizes Old Testament — later than Fall of 
Jerusalem — depreciates ceremonial law — but pious 
— and some excellent ideas — reckoned apocryphal by 
Eusebius and Jerome (i. e. not inspired or canoni- 
cal) — spurious by 1\ eander — genuine by Gieseler. 

§ 435. (3.) Hernias (Eom. 16, 14) " the Shep- 
herd " complete only in old Latin version — Angel as 
Shepherd instructs Hernias — three books : 1. Four 
visions (church as woman) ; + H. Twelve mandates 
(of Angel to Hernias) ; -f HI. Ten similitudes — Ab- 
struse and mystical — but read in churches — Origen 
and L^enasus call it inspired — Muratori Fragment 
(Caius ? ) ascribes to another Hernias — brother of 
Pius, bishop of Rome (c. A. D. 150). 

§ 436. H. School of John — belonging to his later 
ministry — age not mentioned in the Scriptures. — (1.) 
Ignatius— »bishop of Antioch— martyred under Tra- 
jan (§ 490) — 15 epistles extant, 8 acknowledged to 
be spurious (5 Greek + 3 Latin)— 7 in Greek- 
written on way to Eomc — 1 to Polycarp — 5 to 
churches in Asia Minor and 1 to church in Eomc — 
warning ao'ainst heresies and discord — exhortations 
to rally round the bishops as representatives of 
Christ — Hence appealed to in episcopal controversy 
— One question as to long and short recension. 


whether long interpolated — or short curtailed. 
Third recension — discovered by Tatham (1838), 
edited by Cureton — glorified by Bunsen — refuted 
by Baur — only three epistles — in Syriac — less pre- 
latical — but also less trinitarian — meagre garbling 
of the seven — Anglicans hold to long form — Ger- 
mans to short — Inconclusive as to prelacy — {a) be- 
cause bishop may mean presbyter — (J) if diocesan, 
a new invention. 

§ 437. (2.) Poly carp — disciple of John — bishop 
of Smyrna — martyr under Marcus Aurelius (A. D. 
168, § 494). — Epistles to churches under persecution 
— only one preserved — to the Philippians — Greek 
only in fragments — entire only in old Latin version 
— ^many citations from New Testament — important 
Avitness as to Canon. 

§ 438. (3.) Papias, bishop of Hierapolis in Phry- 
gia — disciple of John (Irenseus) — Martyr under 
Marcus Aurelius (?) — collector of Christ's AOTIA 
— credulous and injudicious {o-fMiKpo^; vow, Eus.) but 
great infiuence — promoted Chiliasm — Only meagre 
fragments — ^preserved by Irenseus and Eusebius. 

§ 439. III. Anonymous — Epistle to Diognetus — 
Description or Defence of Christianity — addressed 
to a heathen — Long ascribed to Justin Martyr — but 


very unlike — older — professed disciple of Apostles — 
more elegant — laxer as to Judaism — heathen gods 
nullities, not demons — First disproved by Tillemont 
— reaffirmed by Otto — (Excellent Patristic exercise 
■ — Hefele's edition (§ 432) — Biblical Repertory, Jan. 

§ 440. Early propagation of Christianity — an- 
other connecting link with apostolical times — abso- 
lute and relative historical importance. New Testa- 
ment, chiefly Peter and Paul. 

§ 441. Remarkable dearth of information — almost 
a blank — perhaps to be explained by rapid and sim- 
ultaneous movement —if slower and successive, 
might be traced more easily. 

§ 442. Edessa — Christian king — Abgarus (170) — 
Arabia — India — Bartholomew ? — Thomas ? — Pautas- 
nus — Origen — Gaul from Asia Minor — Britain from 
the same ? — or from Pome ? — Eleutherus and Lucius 
— Claims of various nations mostly fabulous. 

§ 443. Mode of propagation — as at first — by es- 
tablishing radiating centres — ^Pome the last in the 
'New Testament — then Alexandria and Carthage. 

§ 444. Twofold conflict of the Church in the first 
centuries (§ 257) — Intellectual and physical — Intel- 


lectual conflict— (1) with avowed enemies — (2) with 
disguised enemies — A. Judaism (§ 391). 

§ 445. B. Heathenism — (a) its origin — segrega- 
tion of the chosen people — the rest left to walk in 
their own ways — (h) its tendencies to atheism and 
pantheism — to superstition — to materialism — to na- 
ture-worship — to despotism. 

§ 446. Twofold preparation for Christianity, (1) 
among the Jews — salvation for men — (2) among the 
gentiles — men for salvation ; (a) negative — convince 
of need — and worthlessness of human contrivances — 
(J) positive — with actual cultivation — preparation of 
language — as the garb of truth — Greek — most per- 
fect language — and when Christ came — the most 
prevalent — and therefore proper vehicle of oecumen- 
ical revelation. 

§ 447. State of heathenism at the advent — 
offete — sense of want never greater — means of satis- 
fying it never less. 

§ 448. Barbarous religions, i. e. neither Greek 
nor Eoman — comparativly little known — Eastern 
theosophi es — Buddhism — Parsism — western Druid- 
ism — spiritual tyranny — power destroyed in first 
century. Other barbarous religions, military or 



§ M9. Greek and Eoman Heathenism — origi- 
nally not tlie same — the Eoman sterner and pm'er 
— but assimilated after fall of Carthage and Corinth 
— increase of wealth and luxury — influence of Greek 
teachers — question as to Greek art — whether cor- 
rupting or redeeming (Tlioluck and Jacobs). 

§ 450. Sense of spiritual want unsatisfied — 
mania for new religions — fostered by new conquests 
— rites and mysteries imported from Egypt and the 
East — Dea Syra — Mithras — Syncretism — highest 
ranks — even Emperors — Heliogabalus — Alexander 
Severus. (§§ 500, 501). 

§ 451. Kelation of Philosophy to Mythology — 
(1 ) Antagonistic — condemned and ridiculed it — (2) 
Compromise — defended and explained it — symbol- 
ical interpretation — (3) Amalgamation — philosophy 
no longer speculation — but religion — especially 
after rise of Christianity. 

§ 452. The greatest schools of Greek Philoso- 
phy extinct or metamorphosed, e. g. those of Plato 
and Aristotle still survived, and prevalent at Ad-' 
vent — those of (1) Epicurus — happiness the highest 
good — no Providence — the gods indifferent to man's 
conduct and condition — and (2) Zeno (Stoics) pain 
no evil — fate — indifFerentism — apathy — ISTo. 1 suited 


the Greeks — No. 2 the Eomans. (See Acts 

ir, 18.) 

§ 453. Heatlien view of Cliristianity — at first 
contemptuous — as barbarous fanaticism — or olFsboot 
of Judaism — then jealous — when it spread and be- 
came powerful — as new form of philosophy — all 
that was good in it known before — only in new 
form — But this led necessarily to 

§ 454. "Eeform of Heathenism — (like that of 
Popery after the Keformation) — by reviving old 
systems — sp. that of Pythagoras — but no longer 
esoteric — popular — Goetes — Magoi — chief represen- 

§ 455. Apollonius of Tyana — lived through the 
first century^perhaps an enthusiast more than an 
impostor — oldest authorities speak of him as a Goes 
— but the next age exalted him as an antichrist — 
religious teacher and thaumaturge — sp. his biogra- 
pher, Philostratus — but efi'ect transient. 

§ 456. Revival of old Mysteries — ^Eleusinian — 
Dionysian — Oriental — Egyptian — purer theology ? 
— or mere freemasonry? — Still a failure — could not 
replace Christianity. 

§ 45 T. Last effort — the Eclectic Pliilosophy — its 


principle — take what is good in all systems — not 
only of philosophy — but of religion — thus sure to 
be better than any one — (a common fallacy — excels 
each only in detail — but has no unity or substan- 
tive existence ; illustrate by eclectic building or 
machine) — Christianity itself placed under contri- 
bution — but not its essentials — then would have 
been Christian, and chiefly in heretical corrupted 

§ 458. Basis of course not Christian — but Hea- 
then Philosophy most like it — Platonism — hence 
Neojplatoiiism — suj)ported by whole strength of 
Heathenism — in decline of classic age — Forerun- 
ners — Plutarch (-1-120) — profound — serious — some- 
times almost Christian — favourite ancient with un- 
learned readers now — Ajpuleius (c. 170) — Maximus 
Tyrius (c. 190.) 

§ 459. Proper founder of system — Ammonms 
Saccas of Alexandria (c. 243) — said to have been 
born and bred a Christian — seduced into heathen- 
ism by study of philosophy. Principal disciples 
and successors : Plotinus — also an Egyptian (c. 270) 
— ^Porphyry of Tyre (+ 304) — Jamblichus of Chalcis 
(-[- 333) — witnessed fall of Heathenism. 

§ 460. End of third century — universal among 


educated heathen — superseded other systems — ne- 
cessary part of education — studied by many Chris- 
tians — led to some corruptions. 

§ 461. Outline of system — two sets of gods— dif- 
ferent spheres — mundane and extramundane — de- 
mons, good and bad — Koarfio<; votjto^ or rational uni- 
verse — material universe made by demiurge — oliro\- 
XoL might be satisfied with local and ancestral gods 
— ol (TTTovBaLoc should seek to know and be united 
with 6 vov<; or to ev — by ascesis — contemplation — 
and theurgy. 

§ 462. Efi'ect on Christianity — led many to it — 
others satisfied without it — some led to oppose it — 
early tone of heathen ^vriters towards Christianity 
— ^Tacitus — Suetonius — Pliny — Marcus Aurelius — 
offended by enthusiasm. Of less note : Fronto — 
Crescens — Galen. 

§ 463. Lucian — satirist of mythology — cynicism 
— and Christianity — promoted undesignedly by 
bearing witness to Christian fortitude and Philadel- 
phia. — His history of Peregrinus Proteus — aimed 
more at cynicism than at Christianity — founded in 
fact — (Peregrinus Proteus mentioned by A. Gel- 
liiis — Tatian — Athenagoras — ^Tertullian) — ^but em- 


bellislied fiction — witli traits from Christian history 
— e. g. martyrdom of Polycarp. 

§ 4:64:. First formal attack on Christianity — by 
Celsus — probably Epicurean, with Platonic mark — 
AAHSHX AOTOX-otAj known from Origen's 
refutation — some wit — but shallow — ignorant — 
malignant — makes Christ an ordinary Goes. 

§ 465. Porj^liyrij (§ 459) — nobler and abler — 
fifteen books (KATA CHKISTINIAN/2K LOGOI) 
— only a few fragments in Eusebius — sceptical 
criticism — allegorical interpretation — contradictions 
— Moses and Christ — Peter and Paul — anachro- 
nisms — Daniel. Forerunner of rationalism — also 
wrote in defence of Heathenism (" Philosophy from 
the Oracles ") — large fragments in Eusebius. 

§ 466. Hierocles — governor of Bithynia under 
Diocletian — both persecutor and polemic writer — 
— ^best part borrowed from predecessors — eked out 
with calumnious fables about Christ and Christians 
— prefers ApoUonius of Tyana. 

§ 467. These attacks called forth the best Chris- 
tian writers of the age — sp. under Antonines — in 
Apologies — or regular defences of Christianity — 
some public or official — some popular or private. 


Of both tliesc some are lost — and some still ex- 

§ 468. Oldest apologists no longer extant — 
(1) Qnadratns— disciple of Apostles (Irenseiis) — 
Bishop of Athens (Eusebius) — reputed prophet — 
had seen men healed or raised to life by Christ 
— presented Apology to Adrian — lost since the 
seventh century — last mentioned by Photius — (2) 
Ariston of Pella — " Jason and Papiscus " — argu- 
ment from propliecy — sneered at by Celsus — de- 
fended by Origen. 

§ 469. (3) Melito of Sardis — witness to Canon 
— presented apology to Marcus Aurelius — praised 
by Eusebius and Jerome — original lost — Syriac 
version found and published with an English trans- 
lation in 1855, by Cureton. (4) Claudius Apolli- 
nai'is — bishop of Hierapolis — praised by Eusebius 
and Jerome — now lost. (5) Miltiades — a rhetori- 
cian — presented apology to Marcus Aurelius — 
praised by Eusebius and Jerome — now lost. 

§ 470. II. Apologists still extant : (1) Justin 
Martyr — born at Shechem in Samaria — heathen 
parentage and education — studied philosophy — 
tried all schools — but unsatisfied — at last instructed 
by an aged Christian — retained his philosopher's 
mantle — but travelled as a sort of missionary — 


hated by the heathen — put to death at Eome 
(163-167) — at the instance of Crescens the Cynic 

§ 471. Two Apologies of Justin — first and 
longest to Antoninus Pius — second to Marcus 
Aurelius — a third against the Jews (Dialogue with 
Trypho)— Against the heathen IIEPI MONAP- 
XI AS) — refuted from their own philosophers. Some 
books of doubtful origin — two Exhortations to the 
Greeks. Book against heresies now lost — many 
pseudopigrapha — e. g. Epistle to Diognetus (§ 439). 

§ 472. Tatian — disciple of Justin — author of 
first harmony (Diatessaron)—^ OrO:^nPOS HEL- 
LEN'AS — treats Greek heathenism with indiscrim- 
inate contempt. Afterwards became a Gnostic. 

§ 473. (3.) Athenagoras — personal history un- 
known — Presbeia (intercession) ^:)^r^ Christianon — 
clear and logical^negative and positive defence — an- 
other work defends the resurrection against heathen 
objections. — (4) Theophilus ofAntioch — three books 
to Antolycus — a learned heathen friend — among 
the best apologies — shows great knowledge of Greek 
literature. Born a heathen — converted by reading 
the Scriptures — author of other exegetical and con- 
troversial works — now lost. (5) Ilerm.ias — history 


unknown— JI^^rPMO^ TflN EH/2 ^lAO^O- 
^flN — satirical attack on heathenism — variously 
described as "geistvoll" (Kurtz) and "geistlos" 
(Jacobi). [Tertullian, Origen, Minucius Felix ?] 

§ 474. General character of these Apologies — 
repel calumnies — atheism, misanthrophy — ^Thyes- 
ean feasts — incest — show the true character of 
Cliristianity — and expose the absurdity and wick- 
edness of heathenism — thus they dispelled many 
errors and prejudices — and diffused much light — 
both as to Heathenism and Christianity. 

§ 475. But good end frequently promoted by 
bad means — e. g. (a) appeal to false authorities — 
Sibylline books — Hystaspes — Hermes Trismegistus 
— (h) identifying Christianity with the old Greek 
philosophy — {c) erroneous views of the relation be- 
tween Judaism and Christianity — depreciation of 
the Ceremonial law — even as a temporary institu- 
tion — {d) deficient views of spiritual Christianity — 
too superficial and external. 

§ 476. Other side of great twofold conflict 
(§ 444). Persecution — coextensive with first three 
centuries. — ^Providential purpose or final cause — 
1. To sift the Church and exclude hypocritical pro- 
fessors. 2. To harden and fortify it by endurance. 


Peculiarly necessary in the first age, as the forming 
period of the Church. 

§ 477. Primary source of Persecution — the Jews 
— begins in ISTew Testament — Persecntion of Christ 
by the Pharisees — as the dominant party — which 
he especially denounced — and of the Apostles by 
the Sadducees — because they preached the resur- 

§ 478. The first martyr, Stephen — the second, 
James, the son of Zebedee — both led to the diffu- 
sion of tlie gospel — Persecution by Saul and of 
Paul (active and passive) — Jewish hatred embit- 
tered by the death of Christ — the Zealots. 

§ 479. First check to Jewish persecution — the 
destruction of Jerusalem by Titus (§ 387). Re- 
newed under Bar Cochba (or Bar Coziba) — 
aided by Rabbi Akiba — insurrection — three years 
war — Christians persecuted by both parties — put 
down by Julius Severus — Palestine wasted — 
Jerusalem razed — Roman colony — ^lia Capitolina 
— temple of Yenus — Jews banished for ages (Tert. 
and Jerome) — Circumcision and Sabbath forbidden 
— end of Jewish persecution. 

§ 480. Secondary source of Persecution — Hea- 
thenism — necessary hostility to exclusive religion — 


law of Ten Tables — only one rcllgio licita — i. e. 
in Eome and Italy — tolerated religion of foreign 

§ 481. Less tolerant to Judaism — because ex- 
clusive — still less to Christianity — because more 
aggressive and successful — and without prestige 
of nationality and antiquity — (compare Turkigh and 
Prussian toleration). 

§ 482. Po]3ular prejudice against the Chrstians 
— {a) as Atheists — because no images or temples — 
(Ij) as licentious — on account of secret and noctur- 
nal meetings — Lord's Supper a Tliyestean feast ! — 
ic) as unpatriotic — because declined civil and mili- 
tary service — not as unlawful pei' se — but as lead- 
ing to idolatry — (d) as misanthropical — because ab- 
stained from public amusements — and thought more 
of the future than the present. 

§ 483. Promoted by mutual abuse of church 
and sects— and influence of Priests — and other in- 
terested parties — fomenting popular illusions — as 
to public calamities — anger of gods for desecration 
— ^Tertullian : " Deus non pluit, due ad Christi- 
anos ! " — " Si Tiberis ascendit in mgenia, si Nilus 
non ascendit in arva — si coelum stetit — si terra 


niovet — si fames, si lues, statim, Cliristianos ad le- 
onem ! " 

§ 484. Common to government and people — 
fear of political ascendancy — chiliastic dreams — fall 
of empire — or real doctrine of Messiah's kingdom 
— submissive citizens but dangerous. 

§ 485. Guericke's classification of Persecutions 

(1) governmental — (2) popular — (3) individual — 
Kurtz's : (1) Chronological division to Trajan — 

(2) to Marcus Aurelius — (3) to Philip the Arabian 
— (4) under Decius — (5) under Diocletian. 

§ 486. Persecutions of first century — Early Em- 
perors — Tiberius — afraid to persecute — wicked but 
superstitious — conscience-stricken — traditional pro- 
position to deify Christ (Tertullian) — Claudius 
expelled Jews (Acts xviii.) — and Christians with 
them ? — (Quote Suetonius.) — As yet not distin- 
guished from the Jews. 

§ 487. First real persecution — under Nero — con- 
flagration — wanton cruelty — false accusation — re- 
lated by Tacitus and Suetonius — ('' per flagitia in- 
visos " .... " exitiabilis superstitio "...." odio 
humani generis convicti.") — General or local — for- 
mer asserted first by Orosius (§ 88). Spanish in- 
scription to 'Nero. — First decree against Christian- 


it J ? (Tertullian says, other Neronic laws repealed). 
Perhaps meant to be general — bnt not executed. 

§ 488. Successors of 'Novo spared the church—- 
until Domitian — political jealousy — Flavins Cle- 
mens — Flavia Domitilla banished to Pontia — John 
to Patmos — boiling oil (Tertullian) — date of Apoc- 
alypse — two of Christ's kinsmen — heirs of David 
(Hegesippus ap. Eusebius) — Temporary respite 
under Nerva. 

§ 489. ISTew era in history of Persecution — reign 
of Trajan — not from ]3ersonal hostility — but policy 
— revived law^s against secret societies — (Blunt says 
I^ero's edict against Christianity). Correspond- 
ence with Pliny — no general rule — no inquisition 
— no anonymous charges — but if obstinate, to die 
— (genuineness of correspondence denied by Gib- 
bon and Semler — still disputed — but commonly 
received). — First regular law of persecution (Blunt 
says ]N"ero's) — but no heathen bigotry or fanatical 
zeal (" pessimi exempli nee iiostri seculi.") — Old 
Boman spirit — indifferent till conflict with civil au- 
thority — then inflexibly severe. 

§ 490. Extent of Persecution — certainly to Pal- 
estine and Syria — Symeon, son of Clop as — nephew 
of Joseph (Hegesippus) — Bishop of Jerusalem — ar- 


raigned — as Cliristian and Davidite — scourged — 
crucified (A. D. 107). — Antiocli — Ignatius — au- 
dience of Emj^eror — sent in chains to Rome — 
(wrote seven epistles on the way. § 436) — exposed 
in Coliseum to wild beasts — (A. D. 107-116.) 

§ 491. Hadrian — zealous heathen — but forbade 
extra-judicial persecution — and tumultuary accu- 
sation — tradition of fourth century — built first 
churches — knew little of Christianity — cared less — 
profaned Jerusalem — report from Serenius Grania- 
nus, Proconsul of Asia Minor — instructions to his 
successor, Minucius Fundanus. 

§ 492. Antoninus Pius — mild and benevolent — 
tried to quell persecution [Melito] — but people ex- 
cited by calamities — rescript ad commune Asiie — 
preserved by Eusebius — but nov/ thought spu- 

§ 493. Thus far political — not personal hostility 
— till Marcus Aurelius — most pious of heathen — 
yet hated Christianity — stoical contempt of its en- 
thusiasm and condescension (§ 462) — irrational and 
obstinate fanaticism — resolved to suppress it — not 
merely passive but active — espionage and torture 
— Extant edict — genuine (Neander) ? — or spurious 


(Gieseler) ? — Law of Marcus Aiirelius in Pandects 
— punishing " religious superstition '^ with deporta- 

§ 494. Persecution general but not uniform — at 
Kome — Justin (165-168) — instigated by Crescens 
(§§ 462, 470.)— Worst in Asia Minor and Gaul- 
contemporary accounts (§ 80) — Smyrna — Polycarp 
— ^aet. 86 (§ 442) — disciple of John — Lyons and 
Yienne — Pothinus aet. 90 — Ponticus aet. 15 — slave 
Blandina — ashes in Phone. 

§ 495. Old tradition of Legio Fulminea (or Ful- 
minatrix) — A. D. 174. — War with Quadi and Mar- 
comaiini — drouglit — storm — prayers of Christians — 
end of persecution (Claudius Apollinaris and Ter- 
tullian) — but anachronism — and heathen version — 
Jupiter Pluvius — Egyptian sorcerer. 

§ 496. Successors of Marcus personally indiffer- 
ent — but persecuting laws unrepealed — at mercy of 
local governors — Commodus — Marcia — local perse- 
cutions — Asia Minor — Arrius Pontinus Proconsul 
(Tertullian) — Did the Emperor himself turn ? 

§ 497. Septimius Severus — healed by Proculus, 
a Christian slave — anointed (James 5, 14) — hence 
favoured Christianity at first (Tertullian) — but af- 
terwards turned — cause unknown — Montanistic ex- 


travagancc and prophecies of Christ's personal 
reign ? Edict forbidding gentiles, Judseos, or 
Christianos fieri (A. D. 203). 

§ 498. Persecution raged in Egypt and ISTorth- 
west Africa — Alexandria — Leonidas — father of Ori- 
gen beheaded — Potamiena and her mother Marcella 
— Saturnus (" know me at the judgment ") — Per- 
petua of Carthage — slave Felicitas — contemporary 
record — with extracts from Jail Journal. 

§ 499. Caracalla — misanthropic indifference — 
but persecution still continued — new practice of 
purchasing exemption — disapproved by earnest 
Christians. (TertuUian de Fuga in Persecutione.) 

§ 500. Syncretistic mania (§ 450). Ileliogaba- 
lus priest of sun — wished to unite all religions in 
one ritual and temple — hence tolerated all — Chris- 
tianity included — (compare James II.) 

§ 501. Alexander Severus (222) — more rational 
eclecticism — (anecdote — any religion better than a, 
tavern) — appreciated spiritual worship — bust of 
Christ ill his Lararium — with those of Abraham, 
Orpheus, and Apollonius — recognized church at 
Kome as legal corporation — influenced by his 
mother, Julia Mammsea — and she by Origen — 
(Orosius says she was a Christian — Eusebius says, 


j)ions, if ever a woman was) — golden rule on 
wall of palace — hence reputed Jew or Christian — 
nicknamed Archienus and Archisjnagogus. 

§ 502. Ifaximin the Thracian (235) — murdered 
and succeeded Alexander — hated Christians for his 
sake — persecuted chief men — as his own opponents 
— earthquakes excited popular rage — reign too 
short to do much harm. 

§ 503. Gordian (244)— left the Christians un- 
molested — Philip the Arabian — so tolerant — after- 
wards said to be a Christian — and called first Chris- 
tian emperor by Jerome — and to have been discip- 
lined by a bishop. (Eusebius as a tradition — Jerome 
as a fact.) He and Queen (Severa) also friends of 
Origen (§ 501.)— Origen against Celsus (§ 464) says 
persecution at an end — but to be renewed. 

§ 504. Pauses between persecutions — intervals 
of rest and growth — increase of strength and num- 
bers — heightened expectations of ascendency — in- 
creased opposition — and prepared for new attack. 

§ 505. Decian persecution — the most method- 
ical — extensive — inquisitorial — and cruel — hitherto 
the martyrs were few and easily numbered — (Ori- 
gen.) ISTow fell chiefly on bishops and clergy — but 
all required to sacrifice — flight allowed but not re- 


turn — confiscatioii of goods — many fled to desert — 
first anchorites — Paul of Thebes. 

§ 506. Church weakened by repose — increase 
of apostates — Lapsi — classification. The 3 classes 
of the lapsed were : (1.) Sacrificati. (2.) Thurifi- 
cati. (3.) Libellatici — certificates of sacrifice regis- 
tered as heathen — condemned by zealons Christians 
— ("nefandus idololatriss libellus " — Cyprian cf. 
§ 499) — Proportionate zeal and steadfastness of con- 
fessors — Legend of Seven Sleepers — Gregory of 
Tours — awoke under Theodosius II. (M7) and saw 
the cross everywhere. 

§ 507. Death of Decius (251) seemed to lay 
storm — but people ronsed by plague and famine — 
Gallus urged to persecute — would if could — but 
hindered by political commotions — and soon died. 

§ 508. Valerian (253) — at first favourable — but 
when Christianity spread in higher ranks — listened 
to his favourite MaGrian — banished ministers — for- 
bade meetings — next year began to slay ministers 
and chief laymen — so that Christians thought Kev. 
13, 5 fulfilled. — (Dionysius Alexandrinus apud Eu- 

§ 609. Martyrs at Kome ; Bishop Sixtiis—aiid 
four deacons — one of them St. Lawrence — broiled 


alive. At Cartilage : Cyprian — Christian courtiers 
now degraded — Acta — and life by Pontius — next 
year Persian war — death and captivity of Valerian 
— narrow escape of Church. 

§ 610. Gallieniis spared Christians — perhaps 
from indolence — but n6t merely negative — impor- 
tant positive measure — beginning of end — two de- 
crees preserved by Eusebius — Christianity recog- 
nized as religio licita (259). 

§ 511. Aitrelian — zealous heathen — but just and 
politic — long spared Christianity — restrained by 
decree of Gallienus — and occupied with military 
enterprises — at last digested plan of persecution — 
but execution prevented by military conspiracy — 
and death. 

§ 512. Another interval — ^long pause in storm 
of persecution — seemed to be abandoned — Christi- 
anity allowed to spread for many years — but only 
preparation for the last and worst. 

§ 513. Diocletian — (284) — zealous heathen — but 
good-natured — and cautious — afraid of Christians 
— respected act of Gallienus — wife and daughter 
Christians — but favourite scheme to restore empire 
— and with it the old religion — new organization 
— two Augusti and two Cesars. 


§ 514. Maximian — Augustus of the "West — perse- 
cutor before — Legend of tlie Theban legion — much 
embellished — simplest account — seventy Christian 
soldiers refused to march as-ainst their brethren and 
were massacred with their commander Mauritius — 
at St. Maurice. 

§ 515. Galerius — son-in-law of Diocletian — and 
Cesar — bigoted and fanatical heathen — leader of 
that party — unwearied in conjunction with Maxi- 
mian — A. D. 298, purged army of Christians. 

§ 516. A. D. 303. Meeting of Emperors at 
Mcomedia — consulted gods and men — Christian 
church there pulled down — next day — decree — clos- 
ing churches — burning books — new class of apos- 
tates — Traditores (i. e. librorum sacrorum) — subter- 
fuge — substituted other books — Christians excluded 
from office — Christian slaves from hope of freedom 
— edict pulled down — palace fired — charged on 

§ 517. Four more edicts — prisons soon filled — 
height of persecution 304 — sacrifice or die — almost 
whole empire — wonders of lieroism and cowardice 
— but fewer lapsed than under Decius — new tor- 
ments — ^beasts revolted (Eusebius). Sanguine hopes 
— monuments to commemorate extirpation of Chris- 


§ 618. Diocletian and Maximian abdicated (305) 
— Galerius and Constantius Chlorus succeeded — 
Constantius Chlorus had spared the Christians as 
much as possible — in Spain — Gaul — and Britain — 
Maximin continued persecution in the East — ex- 
clude from cities — forbade church-building— circu- 
lated forged Acts of Pilate — caused to be read in 
schools — sprinkled food in market with sacrificial 

§ 519. Galerius on death-bed — conscience-stricken 
— or hope of restoration by Christian God — first 
edict (311) — still extant — had tried to restore Chris- 
tians, who had left parentuin siwrum sectam — but 
in vain — " quamplurimi perseverant " — " indulgen- 
tiam credidimusporrigendam" — better be Christians 
than nothing — " ut denuo sint Christiani et conven- 
ticida sua componant " — provided nothing " contra 
disciplinam " — and pray to their God for us and 
the republic — that they may lead quiet lives. 

§ 520. Constantino — son of Constantius Chlorus 
— same dispositions — j)roclaimed by army in Brit- 
ain — opposed by Maxentius in Italy and Africa — > 
ignoble bigot — turned against Christians because 
favoured by Constantino. On march against Max- 
entius — Constantino saw cross in sky — various ver- 
sions — certaMy put cross in hand of statue — and 


adopted labarnm (doubtful etymology). Conquers 
Maxentius — Liciiiius in Illyricum — 312 edict tol- 
erating all religions misunderstood — 313 edict of 
Milan — allowing free profession of Christianity 
— -Maximin submits —and dies soon — Licinius quar- 
rels with Constantine and beads beathen party — war 
of life and death — Constantine conquers — end of 
persecution (323-4). 

§ 521. Ten Persecutions — old reckoning — found- 
ed on Plagues of Egypt ?— or Eev. lY, 12-14 ? — or 
mere coincidence — Two accounts — Sulpicius Seve- 
rus — Historia Sacra (2, 33) — ten plagues predicted 
— nine past — that of Antichrist to come. Augus- 
tine (Civ. Dei. 18, 52) — " nonnullis visum est vel 
videtur " — ^no more persecution until Antichrist — 
but he thinks only ingenious conjecture — without 
inspired authority. 

§ 522. 1. Nero. 2. Domitian. 3. Trajan. 
( M. Aurelius A | j S. Severus A ) 

' I Adrian S ) ' | Mamilius S f 

j Maximin A | 

( Severus S [ '^^ Decius. 8. Valerian. 

j Aurelian A ] 
'-'■ I Diocletian S f ^^- Diocletian A. 

§ 523. Question as to severity of persecutions — 


and number of martyrs — modern disposition to ex- 
tenuate — Dodwell — Semler — Hase — partly reaction 
from old exaggerations (e. g. St. Ursula and elerven 
thousand virgins — martyred on pilgrimage under 
Maximin (§ 502) — said to be mistake of tombstone 
— XIM(artyres) for XI (mi lie) partly from eon- 
founding earlier and later periods — few martyrs be- 
fore Origen (§ 509.) 

§ 524. Some from wrong motives — sliame — van- 
ity — sympathy — fear — fanaticism — insanity. Still 
" noble army of marfyrs " — old Greek and Koman 
heroism matched by Christian martyrs. 

§ 525. Good effects of persecution — providential 
purpose answered (§ 476), but not perfectly — hyj)o- 
crites and cowards after all. 

§ 526. Positive bad effects — false notion of ne- 
cessity and merit — false standard of duty — undue 
attention to mere suffering — with some the whole 
of religion (like temperance — antislavery — antipop- 
ery — milieu ari anism — charity — now) — false posi- 
tion of martyrs and confessors — led to early contro- 
versy — and first schisms. 

BS2390 .A37 1867 

Notes on New Testament literature and 

Princeton Theological Setninary-Speer Library 

1 1012 00080 2530 1^